Can you Afford to Lose your Top Talent? image

Can you Afford to Lose your Top Talent?

Staff Squared date icon13th July 2018

Tag iconManaging staff

You’ve put the time, effort and resources in to attracting, then employing, talented new hires but don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your work here is done, because it isn’t. You need to work on actively retaining great members of your team – and it might be harder than you think.

Take for example a recent study which looked closely at the behaviours exhibited by 1000 ‘smart talent’ employees. These are the people who are ambitious, advocates of their company, and motivated to be a force for good within their organisation. Shockingly, the study showed that the majority of participants felt they were being prevented from using their skills to reach their true potential.

So what does this mean for companies who are failing to recognise their employees’ abilities and willingness to work hard; it means that almost half of the people that took part in the study are considering looking for a new job in the near future.

So how does a small to medium-sized enterprise ensure that their top talent are not actively seeking employment elsewhere? A decent salary, benefits and perks, and retirement plans are all very well but as the above shows, they’re simply not enough. In fact 57% of the respondents said they’d consider switching jobs if they were offered a greater level of autonomy – proving that money isn’t everything.

First of all, you need to manage the expectations of new hires – the same study revealed that only 49% of smart talent workers said their job met their original expectations. That means you need to craft job descriptions that are accurate and honest, and you need to clearly communicate targets and responsibilities.

People don’t like feeling like a burden – that stands to reason, but when you’re trying to retain top talent you need to proactively make your staff feel like they’re an asset to your business. Ask for their input on everything from client projects to working procedures and they’ll not only feel valued, but you may well be gaining a point of view that you’d never considered.  

With 62% of the study’s participants stating that they wish their employer would spend more time and resources enabling them to develop, giving people the opportunity to learn is important. Make sure your top performers realise there’s potential for growth and promotion within the company – don’t let them feel stifled or they’ll start to look elsewhere.

Giving feedback is also crucial: if your staff don’t know what you think of their work how can they improve or correct any issues? Likewise let them know when a job has been well done. If not, they’ll feel ignored – leading to disengagement and, again, the temptation to look for a organisation who lets them know their worth. Your company culture needs to be one of openness and honesty.

Look after your top talent before you lose them and they take their good attitude, attributes and assets to one of your competitors.

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