What should businesses be doing to retain talent?

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Talent retention remains a concern for businesses: with unemployment figures at a low, companies are utilising perks and benefits to reduce voluntary turnover.

Recruiting new staff can be a long, expensive and challenging process. When losing members of staff, the repercussions are felt far and wide, with morale taking a hit and in turn threatening productivity.

When it comes to talent retention, businesses need to take a step back and consider how they are attracting talent. It’s an increasingly competitive market and top talent is in demand as roles are constantly evolving due to 4IR.

It’s a job seeker’s market, employees’ desires and demands have evolved from generation to generation. Competitive pay and good benefits are a common factor that contributes to employee decisions, but they are also looking for a strong company culture where everyone is truly valued.

Millennials are currently representing the largest generation in the workforce. According to Bullhorn’s Global Recruitment Insights and Data (GRID), 45% of UK recruiters consider Millennials the most difficult generation to reach, engage with and hire. It’s crucial to remember that their expectations include different workplace values and objectives. Employers need to understand what their goals and aspirations are specifically in order to give them tasks and projects that give them a sense of entitlement.

It’s like the mantra goes ‘Hire for attitude, train for skill’. We should be hiring individuals whose values are in-sync with our own. Hiring for attitude builds a company’s culture, giving unique character and competitive advantage. Attitude cannot be replicated in the market as skills sets can. Skills can be taught; experience can be gained, and qualifications can be obtained. Candidates want a clear career path within a business, where they can gain development opportunities.

Through providing opportunities to grow and learn, it empowers employees to know that they feel valued and are a crucial part to the company’s success. Investing in talent is vital to sustain business growth and success. According to a Gallup study, workgroups that are engaged in employee development saw a sales increase and profits double compared to workgroups that didn’t engage at. This reiterates that having dedicated training and development opportunities encourages employee engagement, and engagement is critical to your company’s financial performance.

We all spend most of our days at work, it’s important to have a positive work culture, a toxic work culture will mean retention will suffer and you’ll have trouble getting quality talent in the door. Supporting wellbeing in the workplace is vital if your business wants to progress and maintain optimal productivity. Within the UK, mental health problems in the workplace cost the economy approximately £70 billion annually according to Forbes. With 91 million workdays lost in the UK due to symptoms of mental illness, clearly investing in mental health training and support is an obvious benefit to business and employees. It’s vital HR delivers a clear and thorough wellbeing strategy that helps employees with any mental health-related issues.

Within such a competitive environment, companies will need to shift their focus on the values of their employees, rather than focusing on what the company has to offer, as our employees are our most important asset.

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