Retaining Top Talent

April 9, 2014 0 comments General

retain-toptalentLosing great employees is expensive, disrupts business, and is just a bummer all around. Here are some ideas and examples of how to keep the great talent you have, and if they do choose to leave, how to handle their departure and stay in touch.

Conduct “stay” interviews in addition to exit interviews. Helpful information does often come out of exit interviews, but obviously that’s already when someone is heading out the door. Consider conducting “stay” interviews with some of your top employees that have been with the organization for a while. What has made them stick it out through good times and bad? Those insights will provide clues to how to keep talent happy.

Offer small perks. Can your organization cough up free or discounted gym membership? In-office chair massages at stressful crunch times? An engaging speaker series? There are plenty of small but meaningful ways to help talent feel valued in a work community that cares about them.

We have to say it, competitive compensation packages are crucial, but these packages really need to be more than just financial for someone to be expected to spend most of their waking weekday hours working hard for your company. And, when they do put in the long hours and produce amazing results, they are expecting to be rewarded for that–with recognition and compensation–if you want to see them stick around.

Still, great talent is great talent and in high demand, and losing them can be inevitable and isn’t always a terrible thing. Maintaining relationships with top talent as they move on with their careers can open new opportunities.  For instance, Bain & Co has an extensive alumni network (more than 10,000 strong) and communicates regularly with former employees to include cocktail receptions and panel discussions.

Gensler, a top national architecture firm, also takes a look at their “boomerang rate”–how many employees leave, and realizing the grass isn’t always greener, come back. Their boomerang rate has been high in the past and they embrace their employees that come back whether it is after two weeks or twenty years away.

The key is just keeping in touch: with the talent you have now and what they need to stay happy, and maintaining a relationship with the talent that has moved on to other opportunities.


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