Keeping top talent in an ever-changing business world
According to recent research from life insurance firm LV, employees in the UK change their employer once every five years on average.
Compare these stats to employee loyalty before the 2008 recession, and you’ll see how drastically the business landscape has changed.
Gone are the days when employees would celebrate 15, 20, or even 25 years plus at a company. Job security is a thing of the past — but why?
Why is job security a thing of the past?
The 2008 recession meant that many companies in a variety of different industries had to make massive cuts to survive, and unfortunately, this meant things like:
- Shedding layers of management
- Outsourcing work
- Moving areas of the business offshore.
Due to these changes, employees started to run their careers differently. Rather than staying somewhere and working their way up the ladder — which was no longer guaranteed after the crash — the modern day employee will learn as much as they possibly can from a role and then start to look for new opportunities.
This means that employers have to work harder than ever to retain top talent - fostering a culture of security, learning and loyalty that some companies have lost in today’s fast-paced and competitive work environment.
What can employers do?
A massive 72% of employers in the UK have admitted to recently being affected by talent loss and talent shortage. This issue has a huge impact on company costs and can hinder a company's growth.
If employers want to retain talent, they have to take the time to develop a culture that people will want to stick with. This is about more than offering free tea and coffee and the occasional team night out. Developing your staff to become the best they can be can take time, but is more than worth it in the long run.
Phil Foster from Love Energy Savings understands the importance - this year Love Energy Saving won the TELCA ‘Awesome Place to Work 2018’ Award.
“Keeping your star employees takes effort and investment. The culture of business has changed, especially for the younger workforce, and you need to offer something really special to stop people’s heads from turning. Leaders need to empower their staff members by continuously offering them opportunities to learn and help them see how valued they are.”
6 ways you can inspire loyalty in your employees
1) Be clear about their role and responsibilities
When it comes to retaining good employees, you have to start from the beginning. It’s easy to fall into the trap of selling the dream to ensure you attract strong, talented employees during the hiring process - but this will only end up costing more in the long run.
Always be really clear about the roles and responsibilities of the job you’re hiring for. Don’t promise anything you won’t be able to offer. Let your potential employee know if they’ll be working in a fast-paced environment, collaboratively, or if they’ll be left to their own devices.
Being honest about the role from the beginning will ensure people know what is expected of them and will help them prepare accordingly.
2) Flexible working
A recent study by PageGroup found that when millennials were asked about the benefits the valued most, flexi-time was the most popular answer (67%). Flexible working is also incredibly important for employees looking to start a family, particularly women, as recent government statistics have shown that only 2% of parents had taken shared parental leave.
As talent is getting harder to retain, employers need to open themselves up to the idea of offering staff the chance to work outside the “normal” 9 - 5 working hours.
Businesses now have better infrastructures and technology to offer flexibility, which means remote working and flexible working is set to become the future of employment. So, don’t get left behind and lose your talented staff in the process.
3) Focus on upskilling
Employers should always try to get more out of their employees - not just because it benefits the company, but because it empowers staff to feel engaged and useful. Keep a lookout for senior managers who struggle to share their skills and find ways to help them open up. You need to work hard to develop a culture of learning throughout the whole businesses.
Let your employees know that there is room for advancement. Hitting an advancement ‘ceiling’ is one of the most common reasons people leave their roles.
4) Get employees involved in the bigger picture
Talented people like to make an impression. They like to leave their mark on something bigger and know that their work is contributing to something. Making all your employees - from interns to your senior management team - aware of the bigger picture and how their work contributes is incredibly important in a successful business.
Good business leaders need to instil the understanding in their staff that success isn’t always instantaneous, but that the work everyone puts in each day is always contributing to something bigger.
Don’t keep them in the dark when it comes to growth plans and business developments so they know they’re part of the plan. A feeling of community and a shared goal is one of the most important aspects of employee retention.
5) Trust your hires
Trust is one of the most important aspects of an employee retention strategy. Good employees should be given the responsibility to carry out their tasks on a schedule and in a manner that suits them.
If, during the hiring process and throughout their time at your company they have proved their competence, don’t micromanage them. Let your employees work in a way that benefits them. When it comes to good, hardworking talent, a bit of trust goes a long way in inspiring loyalty.
6) Reward hard work
Monetary bonuses are standard in lots of workplaces, but simply recognising the hard work of your employees on a regular basis can work wonders for staff retention.
When people feel appreciated, respected and worthwhile, they are much more likely to work harder for your business. Employee incentives are a great way to entice top talent - from free food to subsidised gym memberships, a little investment in your staff can go a long way.
Mike Edwards, head of people at Love Energy Saving, said:
“Appreciating how hard your staff members work and showing your team how important they are to your future success is a small step that can really make a huge difference. If you have good talent, do as much as you can to hold onto it.”