Talent retention – best practice:

29 March 2005 by
Talent retention – best practice:

1. Recruitment

  • Are you hiring for success or to fill a job?
  • Do you need them, who are you hiring, what are you hiring for?
  • Use profiling tools
  • Offer decent rewards for referrals
  • Keep in touch with old employees
  • Make applying for a job with you as simple and straightforward as possible
  • Train your recruiters - not only to recruit professionally and competently but as salespeople for your company. Show them how to 'close the sale'. Train them to spot talent and recruit people with the right skills and attributes to help you move the business forward.
  • Recruit proactively, flexibly and inclusively
  • Recruit fast - if you don't someone else will. Let talent realise itself
  • Encourage some calculated risk-taking with internal promotion - people often grow into a role
  • Network - go where the talent goes

2. Become 'The Place to be' - USPs

  • People want to be associated with success so shout about it
  • Constantly promote how great your company is internally and externally - make every single person you employ an ambassador for your organisation by giving them the key messages to pass on
  • Manage any image issues. Make them want to stay

3. Communication

  • Find a feedback mechanism that ensures effective communication
  • Allow your people to share ideas
  • Find a way to make sure real communication happens. Make information flow fast and two-way

4. Vision and Values

  • Have values - and live by them
  • Be clear about what the values are and make sure your company and everyone in the organisation knows
  • Discover the values of prospective key employees - they should match
  • Poor individuals with poor values pollute the company

5. Rewards

  • Service reward schemes, use of company Mercedes, use of company facilities / holiday homes, share options, bonus on results, great parties
  • Find out what individuals want and reward them individually - flexible benefits

6. Support

  • Create a positive relationship with employees
  • Ask them for feedback - focus groups
  • Empower e.g. Ritz Carlton gave staff £2000 per guest to solve problems
  • Supportive culture - you can't have loyalty unless you give it. Take care of people in trouble - it's a strong message. This isn't about 'going soft' - it's a commercial business decision
  • Give the same level of commitment you expect to receive back
  • Match future stars with existing ones via a buddying system or create support networks

7. Manage Aspirations and Development

  • Use reviews, appraisals, training and apprentice programmes to assist the development and strategy of the company
  • Review progress regularly and find out what employees' aspirations are, ensuring they are fulfilled if it suits the business
  • Understand that not everyone wants promotion - find out what people want. Change is rapid so review frequently. Use succession and business planning techniques to identify what new positions are likely to be created in the future and who is aspiring, job-ready, overdue a move, at risk of leaving or should be changing jobs
  • Make it accessible, make it appropriate, and make it on time. Make it flexible and ensure that it fits the business and the individual. Consider the use of personal coaching for executives/top team. Make sure agreed development happens within the agreed timescale by ensuring there is accountability

8. Fun

  • Free strawberries and cream during Wimbledon, free ice cream, Christmas hamper
  • Make use of social occasions
  • Duvet days to cut staff absence
  • Extra day off for their birthday

9. Work-life balance

  • Maternity - some companies offer up to 203 days including additional pay, vouchers for maternity clothes, health spa on return, job protection
  • Holiday days - buy them, bank them, birthday off, unpaid sabbaticals
  • Free yoga, coaching, massage, on-site child care
  • Charity 1 day per month, 30 days per year per dept, give an amount per year (% of profits) to the charity of their choice
  • Discover what your people want and do your best to give it to them. People will trade excitement for flexibility or money for excitement - it's all about their own motivators and drivers - find out what they want
  • Review employment practice with a view to the work-life balance - you may need to train existing people to understand and support this

10. Leadership

  • How often do you ask yourself what are you, who you are and where are you taking the team and the company
  • Say thanks
  • Take responsibility
  • Know your people. Know about other people - what are the trends, influences, and focus? Understand the issues
  • Find out why they stay and why they leave. Where does talent come from and where does it go? Keep a close eye on your competitors for talent - know who they are and what they are offering
  • Talent flocks to a great leader. Engage superstars through inspirational leadership. Make sure that the top team take time out to regularly think about the people - this is a broad issue, which needs input at board level. Put people issues at the top of the agenda
  • Encourage creative thinking - think the unthinkable every day
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