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Techniques to improve talent retention

Searching for talent in the labor market is complicated. Finding it is even more so, which is why techniques to improve talent retention are the basis for consolidating a company. 

Carrying out a selection process requires an investment of time and money and, at the end of it, it may happen that we do not find the ideal candidate. 

It is possible that no one is hired or, worse, that a hiring has been made and the chosen person is not well suited to the position, so that she or the company makes the decision to end the employment relationship. 

If no one is hired, or the recruitment has not been adequate, the company has to start the cycle of searching for candidates, interviews, etc. again. and all this has a high cost in economic and time terms.

The best solution is take measures so that vacancies do not arise due to the voluntary departure of valuable workers. That is, what we have to do is try to retain talent, and thus it will not be necessary to invest so many resources in looking for personnel.

Table of Contents

Why is talent retention so important?

As we have just seen, selecting and hiring new employees has a cost both before and after their incorporation. Because all recently hired workers must go through a training and adaptation process that means they are not fully productive until a few weeks have passed.

But there is something even more important and that is intangible. If we get our staff to be made up of people who feel happy and comfortable in their position, we will improve the image of the company abroad. We are developing the employer branding, and we are telling all the talented people who are looking for a job, that our company is a good place to develop their professional career.

Consequently, the selection processes become simpler, because we manage to attract to them just the profile that interests us.

Staff retention rate

Before taking steps to help us improve results, we need to know the starting point, and for that we have the staff retention rate. A magnitude that will tell us how well (or poorly) we are doing in getting our employees to want to stay with us.

The rate is calculated in a very simple way. To begin with, we need to keep in mind the number of employees we have right now, and then we'll divide that number by the number of employees we had at the beginning of the period we're measuring. Since what we want to obtain is a rate, we are going to multiply the final result by 100.

We see it better with an example:

Suppose that, in December, we want to measure the staff retention rate for the entire year. We know that as of January 1 we had 150 employees and that on December 15 we had 143. We apply the formula:

(No. current employees / No. employees at the beginning of the period) x 100

(143 / 150) x 100 = 95.3%

In this case, the retention rate is 95.3%, and it is understood that indices higher than 90% are positive, so it's clear we're doing it right.

It matters how many leave, who leaves and why

The staff retention rate allows us to know how many employees we are losing, but this information is not enough. Because perhaps those who leave do not add much value to our company, in which case, it is not too relevant that the retention rate is somewhat lower than what would be recommended.

What we need to know is who is leaving. We need to know whether those who have decided to abandon our ship are people whose work and talent are relevant to the company's results.

If our retention rate is high, but it turns out that most of the workers who leave have valuable and much-needed skills in the organization, we may have a serious problem, because his talent will be hard to replace. In addition, it is very likely that these people will end up working in the competition.

Losing talent is a problem that we must seek a solution to, but we cannot do so if we do not know its origin. Therefore, the next step is to know the reason that leads some people to request voluntary withdrawal. In this sense, you do not need to start making calculations, you can get the information directly from the interested parties. They are not required to give you a reason to request the termination of the employment relationship, but many of them will give you compelling reasons if you ask them. 

Here are some of the most common:

  • They don't feel valued.
  • They need to reconcile and your schedule does not allow it.
  • They have found a better paying job.
  • They are not offered the opportunity to develop professionally.
  • The work environment is bad.

Strategies or techniques to improve the retention of talent in our staff

With all the information we've gathered so far, at this point you should know what the turnover rate is at your business, what types of employees are leaving, and why. Faced with his decision you can no longer do anything, but you can implement changes so that the rest of the squad does not follow his example. Here are some strategies that usually give good results:

Hiring the right person for the position as one of the techniques to improve talent retention

The success or failure of your company's retention capacity begins at the very moment of hiring. Yes something is wrong in the recruitment process and you are not choosing the right candidates, rest assured that these will end up leaving sooner or later.

So that this does not happen, invest a little more time in defining both the job position and the profile of the person who should cover it, and do not hesitate to use the latest advances in personnel selection: interviews by skills, recruitment software, etc. The more resources you invest in finding the right talent, the less risk you have of them leaving after a few weeks or months.

Improve the work environment

You can have the best salary in your sector, flexibility, telecommuting options, and everything that today's workers demand and, even so, lose important pieces of your team, and this can be caused by a bad work environment.

The economic and social benefits that you can offer are not going to compensate in any case aspects such as a excessive workload, poor communication, poor peer relations, or a unhealthy work space.

The work environment is the environment in the place where employees must fulfill their tasks. If this is bad, you are going to lose them, so start by evaluating it and take the necessary measures to improve it.

Advocate positive feedback

New generation leaders are clear that the feedback employees receive should be both positive and negative.

If we always blame a person for what they do wrong, and we hardly recognize their achievements (or we don't do it at all), we are preventing them from realizing that they are valuable to us. In fact, an excess of negative comments could seriously affect their self-esteem and even generate mental health problems.

It is not about congratulating everyone at all times for any small goal achieved, but it is necessary to analyze the forms of communication, especially those of supervisors and team leaders. Making them see that they should work your empathy more. Of course they have to talk to their subordinates if something hasn't gone as expected, but they also have to be able to motivate through your words.

Offer training and development

The millennial generation is the first to has broken with the old cliché of working all your life in the same place. They do not want to do it because they know that many companies do not offer the possibility of professional development, and no one wants to work until almost 70 years old doing the same thing day after day.

To retain talent, you have to pose new challenges and continue to develop it, and we can only achieve this through training and the allocation of new tasks. In this way we make the employee see that he is valuable, that we trust him, and that he has the possibility of continuing to advance professionally without having to leave our company.

Paying a competitive salary as another of the techniques to improve talent retention

Today's employees want more flexibility, develop, work in a good environment, etc. But all this goes into the background if the salary paid is not enough.

People don't work just for money, but we can't forget that Obtaining economic resources to subsist is what explains why people are willing to give up their workforce

If we improve all the aspects that we have seen so far, but the salary we pay is below the market, our employees will go elsewhere. Therefore, it is necessary carry out an in-depth review of the remuneration policy.

Ultimately, we have to make staff members feel proud of the work they do and the company they work for. If we succeed, we can be sure that talent retention will be a fact. What's more, we will not only retain those who already work for us, but we will attract talented candidates for the new positions offered.

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