As experienced managers recognize, a great team doesn’t assemble itself over night and hiring the best is only the beginning. If you can find a way to identify well-matched candidates, conduct meaningful interviews, and make sound offers to your top contenders before your competitors swoop in, then you’re halfway home. But the process doesn’t end there. Even with a flawless strategy in place, hiring is still expensive. And if you can’t hold on to your talented hires after you bring them on board, you may need to rehire more than once before the year ends, sometimes at a cost that meets or exceeds the annual salary for the position.
Successful Talent Management Starts with Retention
So once you have your heart set on a great match, be ready to put some focused, strategic energy into retention. Keep the four E’s in mind:
- Education: Talented employees are usually interested in continuing their education in the pursuit of certifications or new degrees. If you decide to stand in the way of this effort (by complaining, for example, when a candidate needs to leave early for a class a few times a week), don’t expect this to go well for you. Instead, encourage employees to pursue these opportunities and consider subsidizing their tuition. Having a well-educated workforce can only benefit your company’s bottom line and supporting employee development is a key to engaging and retaining your stars.
- Experience: Talented employees will demonstrate loyalty if you can help them attain their personal goals. Create and nurture a pipeline that allows them to keep moving, growing, and advancing up the ladder. Don’t let them stagnate. At each review cycle, sit with them and create a clear plan for the year ahead. Actively monitor goals and milestones throughout the year (not just at the end) and do everything you can to make sure both the employee and the company stay on track.
- Exposure: Keep talented employees exposed to the big picture. Make sure they understand the larger workings of the company, not just their own department. It is vital that employees fully understand how their role and output contributes to the company success as a whole. And make every effort to introduce them to upper management and help them get the recognition they need to move forward. But it isn’t just about the larger picture, employee exposure also means acknowledging smaller milestones and accomplishments. Ensure employees have a platform to record and document accomplishments and feedback so managers can actively factor that information into performance and compensation decisions. See emPerform tag.
- Engagement: Entire posts and books are written on this topic and for good reason – employee engagement has a direct link to satisfaction and retention. The more an employee feels invested in their role, the more likely they are to perform well and stick around. It is important to first understand the current state of engagement in your workplace and the simplest way is by executing an engagement survey. See: Tips for Improving Engagement and The Do’s and Don’ts of Executing Engagement Surveys.
If you are looking into effective ways to accurately identify and retain your top talent, check out emPerform.