How can I Keep Top Talent

We are experiencing low unemployment rates and a talent shortage for key roles that will contribute to company growth. As the talent wars continue, it becomes more important than ever to keep top talent. A recent article from Harvard Business Review (HBR) titled, Why People Really Quit Their Jobs, looks at Facebook’s analysis of turnover at the organization.

The findings are contrary to what we have historically thought, that people quit because of their boss. Facebook found that people by and large didn’t have issues with their superiors, what they had an issue with was their job. The findings point to leadership and their ability to create an atmosphere that fosters job satisfaction, taps into employee strengths, and provides learning and growth opportunities.

If you have taken the time, effort, and expense to hire top talent, you also need to understand what you can do to retain them. Per Facebook, “we crunched our survey data to predict who would stay or leave in the next six months, and in the process we learned something interesting about those who eventually stayed. They found their work enjoyable 31% more often, used their strengths 33% more often, and expressed 37% more confidence that they were gaining the skills and experiences they need to develop their careers.”

Create Enjoyment In Their Jobs

This is not about creating jobs that fulfill people’s passions. Rather, it is about finding ways for people to bring their passion to the job. Great leaders look for ways to bring out the best in people. An example from the article highlights how a super-star employee wanted to move back to a role that provided her with energy and satisfaction. She was doing a great job in her current role, but wasn’t fulfilled. Instead of losing her, they worked with her to identify a backfill for her current role that allowed her to eventually move back to the role that she had a passion for. Keeping her at Facebook was more important than keeping her in a specific role.

Tap Into Their Strengths

Job descriptions can be very limiting, especially at larger organizations where roles are more defined. While this helps with process and operational efficiency, it does stifle people’s creativity and other talents they have that can enhance their job and provide benefits to the company. This takes time. Smart managers get to know their people. In some situations, a new role may need to be created. Another idea shared in the article is to create a company database of subject matter experts (SME’s). Knowledge workers spend more than a quarter of their time looking for information. The productivity gains from reducing this percentage would provide immediate benefits.

Bridge The Work Life Balance

As employees get promoted or take on more responsibility, they find themselves making personal trade offs to succeed at work. To improve employee retention rates, consider how you can work with your employees to minimize the impact of the trade-offs they are making. Demonstrating this kind of support not only improves job satisfaction, it builds loyalty with the organization resulting in longer tenures.

As HBR states, “People leave jobs, and it’s up to managers to design jobs that are too good to leave. Great bosses set up shields — they protect their employees from toxicity. They also open doors to meaningful tasks and learning opportunities — they enable their people to be energized by their projects, to perform at their best, and to move forward professionally without taking steps backward at home. When you have a manager who cares about your happiness and your success, your career and your life, you end up with a better job, and it’s hard to imagine working anywhere else.”

To learn more about how we can help you retain your top talent, send us a note. We’ll work with you to assess the culture, build on your existing strengths, and identify areas of improvement.