Retaining your star players and employees demonstrating high potential should be an ongoing priority – they are expensive to replace and they also leave with their insights, skills and business relationships to the competition.
Why, then, do so many organisations still get it wrong? When you’re implementing your candidate attraction strategy, make sure you’re thinking long-term because attracting great people is pointless if you can’t retain them. Additionally, you might have reviewed and refreshed your employee value proposition in the last year, but how long will it be until that particular approach is no longer relevant? After all, employee values evolve over time and the competition is also raising the stakes in order to attract and poach top talent in the market.
Here are six common reasons why large companies fail to keep hold of their best people.
1. Management doesn’t listen to the individual
In any organisation, it can be easy to fall into the trap of treating employees as a unit rather than as individuals. HR can often be stretched and some employees will get very little face time with HR personnel or even their own manager. Take the time to meet with your team. Even if day-to-day business seems to be fine, that perception may be completely off if you were to invest in one-to-ones with key staff members across the organisation. Listen to what they have to say and show that you’re willing to take reasonable action to resolve any issues.
2. Business restrictions are too confining
Bureaucracy can be a common reason for employees looking to move on, particularly from large corporations. Most executive level employees will understand the reasoning behind ‘red tape,’ but it can still be frustrating if they’ve had no say in particular decisions, processes or rules. It’s important to get the buy-in of your top talent before establishing important protocols, ensuring that you are taking an approach that enables your staff and provides autonomy and ownership, rather than restrict them.
3. No career development and engagement
Money is no longer the biggest motivator when it comes to staying in a job. A strong salary and benefits package isn’t enough to engage your best talent. Most employees will want to know there are genuine opportunities for career progression, ongoing training and development in their role. Failure to provide a clear career path with your company can lead to disengagement, particularly if there are other roles available elsewhere.
4. Failure to spot conflict
When a conflict goes unnoticed in large corporations, it’s usually because business leaders don't realise it’s occurring. Unaddressed conflict at work will likely result in an unsuccessful and unproductive relationship between a line manager and a team member. Tension or an unsavory atmosphere soon begins to chip away at morale and motivation – and not just for the parties directly involved. A regular ‘health check’ of your workforce is a good way to keep an eye out for any problems and deal with them quickly and effectively. You could try putting in place a system that encourages anonymous feedback/satisfaction surveys from staff to highlight any issues.
5. Poor communication of the vision
Don’t just keep this to yourself – employees want to feel excited and passionate about the business they work for and need to see a clear vision on the horizon. If an organisation fails to promote the brand internally and fails to successfully communicate the goals of the business as a whole, employees will inevitably begin to lack direction and drive. A lack of vision often leads people to look for inspiration in a different workplace.
6. Ineffective leadership
A lack of strong, consistent management is one of the top reasons for an employee to leave. As outlined above, encouraging open, honest feedback is a good way to highlight any pockets of dissatisfaction within the company as a whole and within individual teams. This may point toward poor management in a certain area or could expose a wider problem. Ensure your employees are equipped with good leadership, inclusivity and communication skills – which may involve additional, ongoing training, but is worth the effort. At every level, there needs to be strong leadership in place.
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