If you ever wonder how your top employees feel about your organization, do not wait until they leave for another position to ask. Retaining quality talent can be a difficult task for organizations because it is a reflective process that takes time. Ultimately, it could also end up costing money at first, but you could gain it back in the long-run with optimal employees. In order for quality talent to stay you need to offer continuing education opportunities, competitive benefits, and provide regular feedback.
Quality talent is not stagnant. Your top employees will want to improve through continuing education opportunities for two reasons. The first is because people who are talented want to continue to learn. This creates a growth mindset in the workplace, which will create a positive environment for everyone. Growth mindset is the thought process that people always have the ability to learn, change, and grow. Carol Dweck, the growth mindset guru, found that in a growth mindset company, employees are, according to Cornerstone University, “34% more likely to feel a strong commitment to their organization, are 65% more likely to say that their company takes risks and 49% more likely to say that their organization promotes innovation.” Commitment, risks, and innovation are qualities that attract and retain quality talent. Through fostering growth mindset, you can ensure your employees will not only gain new understandings and skills, but they will also be more likely to stick around.
The second reason talented people want to be offered continuing education is because they know this is the path to promotion. When employees gain new skills and knowledge, they become more qualified and thus deserve more responsibilities. If you want to retain your quality talent, you will need to offer continuing education and have open discussions about realistic advancements. Your employees need to be aware of the possibilities within your company. This open communication will give them realistic expectations for their positions and allow them to gauge how much continuing education they want to participate in. Continuing education is not necessarily realistic for all companies, but benefits most definitely are.
When you hire young talent, they are not necessarily concerned with benefits like health insurance and retirement. However, as those young employees get older and start growing families, they become more and more aware of the benefits offered to them. As a company, offering competitive benefits is a necessity to retaining quality talent. You will need to do your homework on this and find out what similar companies offer to their employees. That is the bare minimum of what you should offer, and add on any additional benefits you can afford. For example, could employees get work cell phones? Could you offer free memberships to local clubs? Could you offer holidays or vacation days your competitors don’t? The possibilities for benefits are endless. When in doubt, ask your employees what benefits they would like to be offered. Having an open-dialogue with your employees will pave the way for retention through two-way feedback.
As stated, talented employees want to continue to learn and grow. They can do this through continuing education, but they can also do this through regular feedback within your company. Create a system of regular feedback. Employees should get feedback both from leaders and peers within the company in order to improve. Consider setting up quarterly meetings with your employees to create an open dialogue about their performance and their overall satisfaction with the company. This will help them to improve and also to help you find out what to improve.
Retaining quality talent might cost time and money at first, but the benefits for your company will begin to show after a while. Employee satisfaction and retention says a lot about a company, and you will be overall more successful if you satisfy and retain talent through continuing education, competitive benefits, and regular feedback. These three tasks require systems and time, but so does constantly searching for new talent.
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