The matter of employee retention is something plaguing business leaders all the time. Consider the following:

  • Only 19 percent of employees are satisfied with their jobs
  • Among millennials, 44 percent want to leave their current companies within two years

How have mindsets changed in 2021?

When the pandemic hit in 2020, businesses cut back their expenses and often trimmed their staff. Talent retention strategies went on the backburner somewhat, as workers thanked their lucky stars that they still had jobs and hoped they could keep them.

The sentiment is changing, slowly but surely. Vaccination is on in full swing across most of the world, and along with a general spring season cheeriness and confidence that the world is past the worst phase of the crisis, job satisfaction could move ahead of job security as an employee priority.

Is there more competition for talent?

Contrary to the feeling in most of 2020 and in early 2021, demand for talent is likely to grow massively in the next few months. Businesses and people have settled into the COVID era and new ways of functioning, including remote work. This will lead to an aggressive approach toward picking up a new talent and consequently to higher salary offers.

Why is retention becoming so important?

Employees will feel this is a good time to make career moves they had put off post the onset of the crisis. Consequently, employers will also need to step up their employee engagement efforts so that they can retain their best people within their folds. Remote work, business continuity, and employee productivity have been in focus all this while, but with these now being sorted, the focus must now be on keeping hold of the best talent.

What are the downsides of employees leaving the company?

The downsides of poor retention are many – there is a wastage of money, productivity, resources, and time. Aside from the lost investment in onboarding and training the exiting employee, business leaders have to consider the cost of rehiring someone to fill in a newly-vacated job role, which often is at a higher cost than that retaining the original hire.

Here are the specific pointers on the downsides:

  • High cost of turnover: The cost is higher than one might imagine, as the entire process of job ads, background checking, skill testing, recruiter fees, and more must be repeated. Then there is the aspect of training and development and the early phase of low productivity.
  • Low employee morale: Low priority to talent retention strategies could soon snowball to other employees who have not exited. Existing staff members could be overloaded and they might start to think why they are unhappy with the current work setup and why they too should leave.
  • Declining productivity: Every employee exit means some work left undone. This gets worse during the time a new person is hired, onboarded, and trained.
  • Poor customer service and satisfaction: When customers are asked to engage with new hires against long-term people they are already comfortable dealing with,relationship-building suffers, and customers might start looking at competitors with more stable teams in place.

How can you retain talent?

The best approaches to retaining talented people are given below:

  • Engaging the staff: Employee engagement is one of the best ways to retain talented people. Employers must understand the needs and wants of their staff, and ensure they remain top choices for new and existing employees.
  • Training and skilling: Employees need digital skills to support from their employer along with other upskilling measures.
  • Redeployment into in-demand roles: This keeps people within the fold and also builds greater cross-skills and agility in operations.
  • Clear communication: Be transparent with employees, and let them know the precise goals, challenges, and progression status so they feel involved in the whole process.

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