Retaining talent in 2015

The New Year may seem a distant memory or you may be looking forward to the Chinese New Year later this month. For many, the dawn of a new year brings with it much excitement and anticipation.

By Karen Credie, KMCHR.

It is no surprise therefore that the early part of the year is often a busy time in the job market, both as employers look to grow and create positions in order to do so and employees look for greener pastures in new positions.

Departing employees can leave a gaping hole in the organisation they have left; especially when that employee was highly valued or a significant contributor to the business.

Retaining talent can often be overlooked by busy business owners and managers – it’s only after the letter of resignation from a key member of staff is received that they take time to think about it.

Yet the very nature of your best employees – hard working, bright, dynamic and perhaps ambitious – makes them appealing to other employers, and therefore ripe for poaching. On the other hand, your workplace environment, treatment of staff or other factors may actively be encouraging your staff to dust off their CV’s.

Here are a few factors to think about in terms of retaining talent this year.

Maintain a level playing field

Providing a fair and level playing field for all staff can be difficult. Yet a workplace where some workers are perceived to be treated better than others often houses a great deal of tension and as such, can result in staff wanting to leave. Try to give every employee the same level of opportunity and treat long-serving staff with as much care and attention as newer members of the team.

Every member of staff needs to feel valued in order to perform at their best level and remain happy in their position. So be inclusive wherever possible.

Don’t let skills go by the wayside

A happy and motivated employee, and therefore one that is not likely to look for a new job, is one who feels their skills are being fully utilised. On the other hand, a highly competent member of staff who is not allowed to reach their full potential will soon get bored and begin to look for the next opportunity.

Review meetings are useful tools for eliciting the talents and career goals of your employees – but make sure these are carried out properly and you ask the right questions!

Set expectations

The expectations of what a role encompasses and the likelihood of any career progression should be made clear at the outset of any job, or ideally even before this in the interview stage. An employee with a clear remit and structure knows what they need to do on a day to day basis and can be set goals to work towards over a longer period of time. Think about it – you set out what you want to be achieved (ideally something that can be measured) and the member of staff has clear objectives to work to – it’s a win, win.

Changing the goal posts or moving an employee from pillar to post on the other hand will have the opposite effect and create unrest and unease for employees. Even if you are doing it for the best reasons, and because you really value that member of staff, stability is an important aspect of job satisfaction and should not be underestimated.

Keep the door open

As much as it may be a struggle to admit it, there may come a time when it is right for a key member of your team to move on. Trying to keep someone in an organisation when their heart is not in it will only paste over the cracks temporarily and sometimes, it is better to let them go with your blessing. Keeping on good terms is key in these circumstances – you never know if there might be opportunities to work together or perhaps refer business in the future. For more help or advice about maintaining talent in 2015 and beyond, please contact us. KMC HR is a specialist HR Consultancy and provides fully outsourced HR solutions or support to existing HR teams across the North West.