Employee retention: how to avoid talent flight

Employee retention in companies is one of the main challenges of any Human Resources department. You can have good logistics, a powerful brand, and a wonderful product in any company, but if there are no highly qualified people behind the scenes pulling the strings, nothing will move forward. 

Other times, however, their departure is premature and avoidable: their life cycle as an employee has accelerated too much. This means that the departure comes prematurely, in the form of a brain drain, and for reasons that could have been prevented if the rip in their attachment to the company had been detected in time. In other words, the company has failed in achieving employee retention.

When the life cycle of the employee experience speeds up instead of following a natural rhythm, it must be interpreted as a problem in the employee’s psychological well-being as a worker. Otherwise, why would they want to leave the company at this point?

It is important for human resources departments to engage with this issue actively. In other words, they should not take it for granted that talent drain is an inevitable process for which the company has no responsibility whatsoever.

This is what we mean when we say that employee retention should help avoid talent flight. Instead of letting everything flow and praying that our best workers never leave, managers, leaders, and HR managers need to retain talent actively.  

To ensure that the most suitable employees come to your company and, more importantly, that they stay, we will outline a few key points to keep in mind.

employee retention

Employee retention right from the start of their journey 

If we want to retain talent in companies, we first have to attract it. It starts before we contact the employee to offer them a job interview and continues until we say goodbye to them in their exit interview. This means that employee retention is one more component in a strategy that includes previous steps. 

All of a company’s customers live an experience as part of their relationship with that company. This is what is known in the organizational world as the customer journey. The same is true for the members of the workforce. It is no coincidence that employees are the company’s “internal customers” and follow a journey from the time they become interested in the company until their last day as part of the team. Our strategy for employee retention is implemented throughout this journey.

We want the internal customer (the employee) to “fall in love” from the first impression. This means that things have to happen to the employee during the trip that makes them want to continue, visit more places, and extend their stay. 

The things that happen during that journey depend largely on the employee, but they also depend on the territory through which they are traveling: the company. That’s why it’s so important that we take care of their trip from the very beginning.

Avoid talent flight within the company

Once we become aware that our employees are also our customers, we must learn how best to take care of them during their journey with us so that the journey lasts a long time. 

No matter how well we schedule it, every trip has its struggles. However, let’s take a closer look at what we need to keep in mind when aiming to avoid talent flight in our company. 

1. Know your employees

Living wrapped up in your tasks is not a good technique for employee retention in your company. You have to know who you are working with. This will allow you to know their strengths and weaknesses and make the distribution of tasks more efficient, assigning to each one what can excel instead of what is a burden for them.

To know them is to get involved. Spend time with people, listen to them, and observe them. Don’t lose sight of their network of contacts: people with talent relate to other people who also have talent. Ask them who they know is worth recruiting for the company and organize some kind of contact. Who knows what good synergies may arise from there. 

2. Pay with money but also with benefits

Rewarding employees for their work requires considering their background, profile, and needs, especially those on which the company can have a positive influence. You must try to ensure that, by feeling properly remunerated, the talented worker does not look for alternatives outside the company and wishes to remain where they are.  It would be best if you also considered the so-called social benefits or emotional salary

Remember that a worker who feels cared for will tend to stay in the company. Also, think about how much the company improves when people feel well and do not need to be absent or leave the company, and how many resources are lost when small water leaks in the ship are not fixed from the beginning.

3. Create a space for growth

One of the most valued things for any worker is learning new things, working with people who teach them things and performing tasks that challenge them to develop their skills

On the other hand, everyone needs to recycle and expand their knowledge. That takes time as well as energy. A company that wants to work with the best has to be able to “manufacture” the best. In other words, it must create the conditions for employees to feel that their work allows them to grow instead of restricting their careers

By acting in this way, it may seem that we are encouraging the employee to simply grow and leave as soon as possible, without giving back to us what we have invested in them in the long term. This will always be the case for some people. However, in other cases, we will be getting the employee to develop both inside and outside the company and to put at our service everything they are absorbing outside while working with us. This way, they will not feel that the company is a cage but a place where it will not be worth it to leave, at least for the time being.  

4. Boosts the positive environment in general

The best thing for productivity and the psychological well-being of any workforce is to work in a pleasant, well-equipped place where people respect and care for each other and try to foster team cohesion. For all these reasons, moreover, generating a good atmosphere is a good technique for retaining talent in companies in itself: people don’t tend to want to leave places where they work well, even when they are offered more money outside

Take care of your attitude in front of the employees, make sure that the daily dynamics are structured around minimal good practices, identify recurring attitudes that can generate a negative atmosphere, and constructively address them so that they do not become part of the team dynamics.

Every company is different, and people are all very peculiar and demanding. Still, we can also be pleasant, easy to get along with, and cooperative when the conditions are right. Make sure that, in whatever you are responsible for, the result is that, especially if you want the most talented members of your team (those who have alternatives and who don’t have to “conform” to your company) to decide that this is where they want to be. 

5. Look at the whole picture

In addition to taking care of the present and future of your current employees within the company, remember that employee retention begins at a golden moment. When? When a future member of your staff first hears about your company or establishes initial contact with it

Take care of branding, advertising, how your current employees talk about the company in public, and the style of telephone and email communication. People notice these things, which are very powerful in awakening the desire to join or leave a team. Will there be more opportunities to attract and retain valuable employees? Certainly, but this is the first one: don’t make any mistakes from the minute you begin.

6. Start planting the seed during the selection process

You know those situations where we embark on something, and we already know we are making a big mistake? We don’t want anyone to join our company with that feeling. It’s not a good starting point. 

Therefore, remember that you can’t retain the talent you have not previously attracted, and the selection and interview process is the starting point. Make every effort to convince them that joining your team is a good idea to convince them that staying on is also a good idea.

7. Conduct a good performance evaluation

Don’t leave things to chance unless you want to find yourself with an unexpected resignation letter from one of your best employees. 

Connect with the employee experience that your team members are developing over time. To achieve this, provide honest communication spaces with them to evaluate their performance and help them improve it

Demanding and leaving people alone is easy, but it is not the best way to get the best results from them and achieve employee retention in your company.  

8. Make the most of exit interviews

We must assume that, sooner or later, everyone will leave the company for some reason or the other. That is a fact.

Therefore, the most efficient way to improve the human resources policy is for people who leave to become key informants through exit interviews and facilitate our work after their departure. 

If the relationship with the employee has been good for as long as it has lasted, we can use that alliance at the time of departure to do two things. One, let us know their real reasons for their decision to leave. Secondly, they can give us feedback on how the employee experience could be improved for those staying

You may not have been able to save one or two great assets in your team, but if you listen to them, you can learn the lesson and probably save many more in the future. 

9. Get advice on how to avoid talent flight in your company

No one is born with knowledge, not even a manager or human resources manager. Moreover, the company is a living organism, which means that each era and each cohort of employees requires different strategies that we cannot always anticipate

On the other hand, over time, we all tend to relax or settle into easy dynamics in the short term but do not favor the company’s progress in the long term. 

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Join the global leading solution in mental well-being

Emotional well-being for companies

More and more organizations tend to take their employees’ health and the measures they can take to enhance it seriously. That is why ifeel has an emotional well-being program specially designed for companies. 

Thanks to this service, our psychologists can provide your employees with personalized, comfortable, and professional day-to-day care to benefit their health and productivity. In addition, we can advise your company’s human resources managers on key aspects of their teams’ well-being where there is still room for improvement. 

In addition to the financial salary, a useful way to take care of your employees is to offer them the tools to take care of their well-being without leaving home through their computer or mobile phone. This way, they will experience the company as an emotionally safe place

If you identify weaknesses in employee retention and you have not found the solution, the best thing to do is to get specialized help. Our team of psychologists trained in team management can offer you continuous support in this area. We will accompany you until we find what your company needs right now to keep the best people. Talk to us, we’ll arrange it. 

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