Ten top tips and tricks how to best retain your top talent

Talya Zwiers   30 July, 2019
Employee Engagement Workplace

Attracting and finding the right employees for your team is a mammoth task as it is– people who fit in culturally, have aligned goals and the right expertise. Now trying to retain them remains the harder challenge. Company and employee loyalty don’t mean what it used to. With so many options, both locally and globally, employees seem to have a lot more variety and can at times be more selective when choosing a job. They often look at the holistic package, including a competitive salary, benefits, development opportunities, autonomy and corporate culture.

Narrowing in on the employee spectrum, millennials have a reputation for job-hopping, so finding the right ways to attract and retain them in a valuable way is something all companies should be focusing on. According to a Deloitte survey, 43% of millennials plan to leave their jobs within two years. What does this mean for companies? Where should they be investing their time and efforts, knowing there is a high chance of turnover? This generation aren’t always after the money. They want the right job; they want to feel like they are contributing to a greater whole and want a positive working culture. With this in mind, there are so many tips to attract and retain your top talent.

1. Offer flexibility
Employees want flexibility in the workplace. Gone are the days of 9am – 5pm 5 days a week. Employees hate clock watchers and want to know they have the option of some flexibility in their days. Flexible workers are a lot happier as they can work around their own schedules, they can work at optimum times where they have the most zest and energy and work around travelling times and home routines. Offer your team the option of flexibility, be it once a week or month and this is sure to keep them in your business a lot longer, plus their attitudes will be more positive.

2. Offer an employee benefits package
Show your team your care about them and their wellbeing outside the working world. By offering a holistic employee benefits and perks package where they have access to thousands of discounts and savings on daily expenses such as grocery shopping, gym memberships and more, shows your responsibility to them. A platform as such can offer an endless list of perks for everyone; where they can enjoy discounts on days out, spa days, travel packages, insurance and financial products, wellbeing suppliers, cinema tickets and so on. Let your employees save where they would be spending anyway.

3. Offer career advancement and development
Make your company an enticing place to stay because there are opportunities to grow and develop. Have training and development strategies in place. Often these things are pricey to invest in and can mean a fair amount of time will be taken off work, but you will reap the rewards in the end. You will have employees who are happy and above all, upskilled to do their job better and more effectively. There are so many ways to offer this advancement: grad schemes, shadowing opportunities, in-house training days, part time courses and the biggest ask, sabbaticals. In addition, you could do company training days, like strengths training, how to be more assertive training, managerial courses and so on.

4. Make recognition part of your company DNA
People like to know they are valued and their contribution is noted. Make recognition part of your company’s DNA and culture. It should be second nature to everyone, right from the top down to the bottom. Have recognition schemes in place, be it formal and informal, so it’s easy and accessible for the team to do: celebrate exceptional employee performance, boost productivity and say well done for an outstanding job.

5. Foster open, transparent communication
Ensure there is an environment and culture where your team feel comfortable to be open and communicate to the powers that be whenever necessary. Encourage frequent feedback sessions, don’t make it hard for employees to open up where they are scared of the consequences if they are honest. Offering an anonymous feedback tool such as an online survey could be one way for employees to fully open up about what is on their mind. Have an open-door policy and encourage your team to speak up, be it positive or negative.  This way employees feel engaged and know they are being listened to.

6. Invest in the latest technology solutions
Nobody likes inefficient software and hardware when trying to get a job done. If possible and necessary, ensure your company offers the latest versions of different solutions to make your teams’ job more effective and productive. Old and outdated programmes often are the root for much frustration and can be the last straw for an unhappy, unengaged employee. This could be a quick win to retaining your talent, knowing they will always be in the know and the possibility of automating some of their tasks is possible.

7. Have a social culture
Employees spend most of their waking hours at the grind at work, so it may as well be a nice social environment where they are happy to come and enjoy working. Create brand advocates or a social committee and let them bolster your corporate culture to one of fun and inclusiveness. There are so many ideas which can help retain your team: have a drink trolley every week, have casual Fridays, do team lunches, have drinks on the rooftops, do weekly meetings at the local pub, do team building events, have inter-team table tennis / snooker competitions in the office. Your advocates will keep up the positive community feel in the team and will be your champions driving everyone forward as a whole.

8. Have internal mentors
One way to retain your talent is to pair them with a mentor in the business, someone they can learn from, bounce ideas off and develop in their role. The first step is to have the dream team as leaders who are fully equipped to mentor, give constructive feedback as well as have the necessary time to do so. Cultivating this mentor relationship and partnership is one way to support and grow your team from the inside out, plus it doesn’t break the bank.

9. Team empowerment
If employees feel empowered in their role and the overall business, this may have the sticky effect. Let your team take part in decision making, hear their views and acknowledge what they have to say as at the end of the day, they are the living and breathing part of your organisation. Try to have a more democratic approach than a bureaucratic one if possible. Your employees may have suggestions that are brilliant and can change your business direction. Give them the empowerment and power they deserve.

10. Celebrate milestones
Employee milestones are a big achievement nowadays, especially with so much chopping and changing of jobs. Gone are the days of getting a gold watch or a carriage clock. Try engage at yearly milestones. Give anniversary gifts / certificates or drinks. Have birthday, engagement, wedding, birthday celebrations. A milestone could even be marking the competition of a big task or project. There are so many milestones to celebrate and this can nicely engage your team, as they are noticed, valued and taken into account.

Continue to nurture your employees and this will retain them hopefully for the long term. Listen to them and value them and their contributions.

Staff Treats provides flexible and versatile benefits and reward programmes, using cutting-edge and culture-first technology. We meet you at your level, designing the programme that’s right for you and evolving with you as you grow. Get in touch if you'd like to find out more - we'd love to hear from you.

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