Employee retention: Strategies for retaining top talent

1 Aug 2022

Employee retention: Strategies for retaining top talent

A comprehensive employee retention programme is a key differentiator in tight talent markets. Here’s how to reduce employee turnover, retain top talent, and establish an engaged workforce.

Companies that succeed in achieving high employee retention gain an advantage in meeting business goals and in recruiting new hires. As well as a key competitive differentiator,

Retaining top talent

IT departments in particular have been ramping up efforts to retain valuable employees in the face of ongoing talent gap issues, according to CIOs.

“There is a talent shortage, which is expected to grow. Numerous studies show that recruiting tech talent becomes more and more difficult. Competition is fiercer than ever,” says Nancy Parsons, president and CEO of CDR Companies, an assessment, leadership development, and talent management firm.

CIOs must focus on retaining their own employees as well as hiring new ones if they want to have the talent they need. ‘You can’t always stop the poaching, but you can slow down the people on your team looking on their own to leave,’ says Grayson Williams, vice president of enterprise applications at Red Hat, a provider of open-source software products. Employee retention requires work and multiple strategies to boost retention rates.

Recognise retention starts with recruiting

Start with identifying what aspects of culture and strategy you want to emphasise, and then seek those attributes out in your candidates.

The longer someone’s with your company, the more productive they become. You have to look at this as a long game and take steps to ensure you’re doing it right by making sure each employee is completely engaged with and part of the company’s ongoing success.”

Identify candidates who’ll stay the course

Have your candidates worked at a company for many years through ups and downs? That speaks to loyalty, perseverance, and engagement.

Identify those who share your outlook

Workers tend to stay longer at organisations where they are aligned with the values, vision, and mission, so identifying them during the recruitment process can pay dividends in terms of retention.

Focus more on identifying candidates for whom our organisational story resonates than strictly focusing on longevity. When top talent feels that they have shared values with their employer, it increases the likelihood that they will stay longer with the organisation.

Provide ongoing education and clear paths to advancement

Promoting from within not only provides a clear path to greater compensation and responsibility, it also helps employees feel they’re valued and a crucial part of the company’s success. So employee development and education are essential. Providing professional and career development opportunities fit one’s specific in-depth strengths, risk factors, and intrinsic motivators.

Research shows Millennials and GenZers crave career and professional development, with several studies suggesting that 80% or more of them would leave a company that doesn’t offer personal development opportunities.

Stick with remote work options

The pandemic demonstrated that long-term remote work is possible. From a recruitment and retention perspective providing increased flexibility for work hours and location of work help increase employee satisfaction, which leads to retention, along with increasing an employer’s competitiveness and attraction to land top talent.

Be competitive with compensation packages

Leaders need to be reviewing pay scales to ensure they’re as competitive as needed to retain talent, HR specialists say, adding that loyal workers expect to be rewarded for staying and not feel like all the bonus pay is going only to new workers.

Deliver for your employees

If an organisation is unable to provide flexibility, that could make it difficult to attract or retain talent. People are multidimensional and we need to support the whole person whether that’s through flexibility, a wide range of benefits, financial stability, or meaningful projects to keep them engaged.

Engage your workers

CIOs would do well to connect with their workers to update them on the organisation and its direction and to get their feedback.

Employers who conduct interviews with employees are helped to understand any concerns an employee may have, and come up with ways to address those . Hold regular state of the business meetings inviting all of your employees to attend.

Tech people want to know what is going on with strategy, competition, the financials, and the business outlook. Include them and ask for their ideas. They appreciate feeling like partners in the enterprise.

Be prepared for turnover

Of course, sometimes turnover is inevitable, so organisations must be prepared to lose top talent. IT industry, it’s so competitive but it’s also healthy.

Credit Mary Pratt and Sharon Florentine