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War for Talent in 2017: How to Keep Your Top Employees

Martin Castilla            No comments            May, 31

Back in November of last year, the unemployment in the United States fell to exactly 4.6% – and this was the lowest jobless rate the country had in the last 10 years.

We can look at this as the exact moment US companies started investing more in their recruitment strategies in order to stay competitive in the job market.

That’s why, according to last year’s LinkedIn’s recruitment report, 59% of US companies are planning to invest more in their employer brand.

But that’s not all – if you dig a little bit deeper into the report, you’ll find that 32% of talent leaders view employee retention as a top priority in 2017. They are looking into the advantages health insurance has on employee retention, finding out what younger workers want as perks, and much more.

Most Employees Expect to Work with You for Less Than 2 Years

If the US economy continues to strengthen under the new administration, hiring will continue to grow in the next couple of years. But this will only put more pressure on companies to retain the workforce they’ve worked so hard to attract over the last few years.

Keeping employees is partially so hard due to the fact that the average employee tenure is only around 1.6 years per job, according to statistics provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. And when you’re dealing with people who expect to work with you for only around a year and a half, it’s perfectly clear why need to come up with a clear retention strategy.

HR Department vs. Recruiting Professionals

Interviewing and hiring new candidates is critical for the success of any organization. But some companies simply put too much emphasis on the importance of talent attraction and recruiting and force their HR teams to ignore their employee retention strategies.

So let’s say you have some worker shortage in the sales department, you don’t need to force your HR team to spend a couple of weeks interviewing dozens of candidates. You can outsource the job and hire a couple of sales recruiters to help you deal with the problem, instead of burdening the HR department.

What Successful Companies Do To Retain Top Workers?

If you’re working on a tight budget, justifying raises as rewords for high-performing workers can be though. However, there are certain things you can do to show your gratitude for a job well done.

As this Forbes article explains, if your employees are satisfied with their jobs, they will be more engaged, productive and loyal to your company. So let’s check out a couple of ways you can keep your top dogs happy, when salary isn’t the driving factor.

Put an Emphasis on Work/Life Balance

If you’re employees regularly spend a couple of additional hours in the office, their home life is surely suffering for it. So you should allow your employees to have more flexible schedules, and let them work from home at least once or twice a week.

Create Career Pathways

According to research from the University of Iowa, providing employee training and mentoring to people who don’t think there are good career opportunities for them within the company can lead to larger turnover rates. So make sure that every single one of your employees is aware of different career opportunities throughout your organization.

Reward Employees and Recognize their Effort

You shouldn’t wait for the annual performance review to let your employees know that their efforts and accomplishments are being noticed. Make sure to ask them how they’d like to be rewarded (you can do a short survey on this) – you’ll be surprised how many of them are only looking for a pat on the back.

Final Thoughts

Lastly, if you’re still not sold on the idea of investing in employee retention, just keep in mind that replacing an employee can (and probably will) cost your company a lot of time and money.

According to Investopedia, training a new employee to the “break-even point” takes roughly 6.2 months on average. So if one of your top workers leaves, you’ll need at least half-a-year just to teach his replacement the basics of their new job.

Top workers aren’t replaceable – these people have a lot of influence in your organization, and their departure might cause a domino effect, and persuade other important people to follow suit.

As a business leader, you have the responsibility to do whatever it takes to keep your workface satisfied and engaged in your organization’s mission at all times.