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Six reasons why businesses lose top talent
Retaining your star players should be an ongoing priority for all businesses, particularly amid the current climate of the race for talent. Ultimately, staff turnover is an expensive exercise and means key staff will take their insights, skills and contacts to the competition.
It’s one thing to implement your candidate attraction plan but without thinking both strategically and tactically, attracting great people is pointless if you can’t retain them.
But why are so many organisations still getting it wrong?
Are businesses happy to take the brunt by not investing in strong retention initiatives or are the offers from competitors just too strong and advanced to say no to?
Here are six reasons why companies lose their talented employees.
1. Management doesn’t acknowledge the individual
No matter what type or size of organisation, it can be easy to fall into the trap of treating employees as a unit rather than as individuals. HR can often be stretched and some employees will get very little face time with HR personnel and even their own manager. So, are you taking the time to meet with not only your team but the individual members who make up that team? When and how often are you spending time to get to know them, both on a professional and personal level?
Even if day-to-day business seems to be fine, there can be frustrations that surface during a one-to-one. Genuinely listen to what they have to say and show that you’re willing to take reasonable action to resolve any issues. Alternatively, great culture doesn’t just run on its own – it needs to be maintained and management can dictate this so ensure you create and invest in team building activities and outings.
2. Business restrictions and limitations are a turn-off
Company bureaucracy is a common reason for employees to move on, particularly from large corporations. Most executive-level employees will understand the reasoning behind ‘red tape’ but it can still be frustrating if they have no say decisions, processes or rules. It’s important to get buy-in of your top talent before establishing important protocols.
In addition, any limitations in a role give off the impression that you don’t trust your talented staff to do their job. Imagine being micro-managed for simple tasks or projects that rely on creativity and thinking outside the box. It’s the opposite of utilising the talent you have, so why wouldn’t they search for a role with less restrictions that enables them to flourish?
3. Zero or little career development
Don’t assume that money is the biggest motivator: according to many recent studies, a strong salary and benefits package isn’t enough to engage your best talent. Most prospective employees want to know if there are genuine opportunities for career progression, ongoing training and development in the role. It might even be as simple as providing dedicated training with their manager, as opposed to more rigorous internal or external development programs. Some companies allow their staff to choose a course themselves to ensure their training is relevant and suitable to the individual and their experience.
Failure to provide a clear career path with your company will lead to disengagement, particularly as many businesses have already acknowledged the needs of modern employees and have adjusted their development programs accordingly.
4. Failure to spot and manage conflict
When a conflict goes unnoticed and unaddressed in large corporations, it’s usually because nobody realises it’s occurring. This could start conflict between colleagues, or an unsuccessful and unproductive relationship between a line manager and a team member. Tension or an unsavoury atmosphere soon begins to chip away at morale and motivation – and not just for the parties involved.
A regular health check of your workforce is a good way to keep an eye out for any problems and deal with them quickly and effectively. You could try putting in place a system that encourages anonymous feedback and satisfaction surveys from staff to highlight any issues.
It’s also important that employees have trust in the HR department: that matters will be kept confidential and that their concerns are genuinely being listened to. There’s no point implementing a HR process for conflict if staff can see that no positive outcomes are being presented.
5. Company vision isn’t communicated nor demonstrated
Don’t keep the company vision to yourself – employees want to feel excited and passionate about the business they work for and need to see a clear vision on the horizon. If an organisation fails to promote the brand internally and continuously communicate the goals of the business, employees will begin to lack direction and drive.
Plus, a lack of vision often leads people to look for inspiration in a different workplace.
6. Ineffective leadership
A lack of strong, consistent management is one of the top reasons for an employee to leave. As mentioned above, encouraging open, honest feedback is a good way to highlight any pockets of dissatisfaction within the company as a whole and within individual teams. This may point toward poor management in a certain area or could expose a wider problem.
Ensure your employees are equipped with good leadership, inclusivity and communication skills. This may require additional, ongoing training but it’s worth the investment. At every level, there needs to be strong leadership in place.
The race for talent is one of the biggest challenges for workplaces today, therefore, it’s crucial to ensure you retain the talented staff you already have. Thoroughly consider the six areas outlined above to identify where your gaps may be and start making improvements. As a result, retaining your star players means more talented staff will be attracted to join your company, and stay.