Workplace Trends

Nine Tips for Retaining Top Talent in a Recovering Market

By James Greenway on March 13, 2013

On March 12 the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS) revealed that the annual levels for hires and quits increased in 2012.  It’s estimated that as the economy improves, one in three U.S. workers will be seeking a job change in 2013. What is your organization doing to retain its top performers? And what strategies does it have in place to become an employer of choice?

Here are nine tips for retaining employees in a recovering market:

  1. Offer competitive benefits. Compare the benefits you provide with other organizations in your industry and region. Benefits alone won’t keep employees from leaving, but if your organization isn’t competitive, you’ll find it harder to attract and retain top talent. Check out our 2013 Salary Guide for the latest data.
  2. Onboarding is key. Make sure new hires are adequately prepared to hit the ground running and succeed in new roles.  Managers should set clearly defined roles, responsibilities, expectations and priorities for new hires.
  3. Invest in career development. Identify opportunities for creative challenges and professional growth to prepare employees for future roles within the organization.
  4. Culture counts. Cultivate a culture of trust and transparency where strong relationships can flourish and information is easily shared and accessible.
  5. Leverage home grown talent. Consider internal candidates before going externally with a job opening. Internal talent mobility – be it upward or lateral – inspires loyalty and greater levels of job satisfaction.
  6. Provide the right resources. Make certain employees have access to the information, technology and resources they need to work effectively and efficiently.
  7. Encourage networking. Help employees build relationships by offering opportunities for internal networking with fellow colleagues and external networking through corporate community and professional association involvement.
  8. Develop your leaders. Prepare your high potentials for leadership roles. A solid leadership development program should provide coaching to build competencies in areas such as communications, teamwork, strategic thinking, managing change and resolving conflict.
  9. Keep an ear to the ground. Solicit feedback on a regular basis to evaluate the success of your retention efforts. Perception is often the employees’ reality.

Your best and brightest seek greater opportunities to add value and contribute to the success of the organization. And given improving economic conditions, workers will begin exploring new career prospects if they don’t see opportunities to maximize their potential.

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