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How to Retain Talent: 3 Proven Approaches

Updated: Jul 21, 2022

Several employee relationship pitfalls can cause a worker to leave an organization. The worker may feel that their career priorities are not being addressed, so they seek opportunities that better reflect their needs (i.e., remote working, more exciting projects, or more desirable benefits). They may leave because they feel they’re at a career dead end with few new contacts or too little training. Or, they may grow out of touch due to a lack of communication and seek another opportunity where they feel more connected. Our experience at GPS has taught us that each of these three types of issues can be mitigated if the employer invests the time and effort to improve the employee relationship.

Develop Relationships that Treat Employee as Individuals

“First, develop relationships that treat employees as individuals.”

First, develop relationships that treat employees as individuals. A highly competent employee, for example, may want autonomy and desire to avoid travel. That person may only be interested in receiving a merit increase and being left alone. In the same department, there may be another employee in a similar role who values travel and interaction with colleagues and will not feel successful unless she earns a new title every two years. These are two entirely different sets of priorities, but the organizations that learn about and address the unique needs of both individuals will have an advantage in retaining them.

Empower Workers to Develop Networks

Second, empower workers to develop the networks and skills to advance their careers. You can reimburse employees for work-related lunches and encourage employees to network at the organization’s expense. We’ve seen how an individual can build a network and use that network to move to a new career level or direction that she would otherwise achieve only by leaving for another employer. Along with networking, an investment in worker training has a tremendous influence on employee retention. The employer must make education a priority and accept the investment of time and budget that is needed to provide training to its workers. The returns, in terms of improved skill sets and employee engagement, make the investment well worth the effort.

Close Communication Gaps

Third, make an active effort to close communication gaps. To prevent those gaps you can make communication with the candidates placed a part of the recruiter’s daily process. The employer should support that capability by utilizing various customer engagement solution to reach out to talent at predetermined touch points, based on data that tells you when a worker is likely to start looking for their next job.

Together, individual relationships, empowerment for career development, and consistent communication all play a role in keeping great talent connected and engaged with their work. Through stronger employee relationships and reduced attrition, organizations can position themselves to gain an advantage at a time when retaining critical talent is a main driver of business success.

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