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Val Matta


VP of Business Development

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The talent retention war is real – and you’re losing


The war for talent is a hot, hot game — and your current policies may be leading top professionals to say sayonara to you and your organization.

According to recent studies, the average employee turnover rate is predicted to rise from 20.6 percent in 2012 to 23.4 percent by 2018. This represents 192 million separations. The study also notes that emerging markets will see departure levels peak first, and developed economies will notice most of their turnover spikes in 2014 as job markets become more active.

So, why are employees cutting and running? And what can you do to make sure you win the race? It could be due to one of the following factors:

You aren’t upfront in the beginning

About 43% of professionals say a job description didn’t match the position. This is a big problem, especially if you want the right people to apply and the best candidates to get hired. While many skills and duties are transferrable, candidates need to know exactly what to expect on the job if they’re going to stick around.

Solution: Write clearer, more descriptive job postings. Include as much information as possible, such as salary information, daily responsibilities, company culture details, professional development opportunities, and goals you’d like the candidate to reach.

You don’t engage them

Studies show 79% of HR professionals say engagement is a high priority, but only 41 percent don’t have an employment engagement strategy in place. When you don’t engage your employees or acknowledge their skills, they may feel unappreciated, leading them to seek out opportunities elsewhere.

Solution: Have regular meetings with your employees, both one-on-one and in a group. Engagement happens when you’re aware of what an employee is good at and what they need to work on, in real-time. Scheduled meetings that happen proactively, instead of when there’s an engagement problem, will help your employees to feel more in tune with their performance and overall company goals.

You don’t recognize their efforts

While finishing a task quickly or getting praise from a client is great, sometimes workers want recognition for their efforts from you. In fact, 78% of employees said that if they got better recognition, they may feel more motivated in their job. The right kind of motivation means better performance and higher results. The wrong kind means saying goodbye to talent who could have positively impacted your organization.

Solution: Help your employees feel more connected to their jobs. From small gestures like thank you notes and social recognition to larger rewards like time off and promotions, taking steps to recognize employees for their efforts can help you to retain employees while motivating them to work toward their goals.

You don’t help them to grow

Here’s a surprising statistic for you: Fewer than one-fourth of employees said they felt managers were interested in the professional development of their staff. While star players may seem to have their head in the game today, if they’re not challenged, they may grow out of their position. If a promotion is not an option, their move could either be to stay, becoming more and more disengaged in their job, or to leave and find an organization that helps them grow. Clearly, both of these choices aren’t great outcomes for your organization.

Solution: Offer as many professional development opportunities as you can. Try offering varied projects, online courses, books, meetings with top company executives or alumni, or free attendance at industry conferences. Not only do professional development opportunities help employees to grow, they also give an employee a reason to stick around.  

While the talent retention war is very much alive, you can take the above tips into consideration to combat this problem. As you’ll see, the outcome will most likely result in happier, more engaged employees who want to stick around for the long run.

What do you think? What are some other ways to retain talent?

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Val Matta

VP of Business Development

Read more from Val Matta

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