You can’t do it all alone. In order to succeed, it is essential to build exactly the kind of staff you want. But building your staff does not end at the hiring process. You have got to be able to foresee the challenges ahead. And when it comes to creating an amazing team, you can count on the fact that employee retention will be a challenge. Everyone wants to hire the best. How can you ensure that you will retain your most valuable employees amid all the changes occurring within and outside of your organisation?
All that trouble that your company put into searching, interviewing and hiring the best candidate for the position, all the resources spent on training that person and acclimatising them to your business culture - all goes right out the window if they leave.
The moment such an employee decides that their value will be better appreciated somewhere else, you lose all you invested in them, especially in terms of training.
However, you can retain valuable employees with the right combination of thoughtful communication and collaboration. You can’t cut corners on this piece of the puzzle without the risk of losing the best talent and brains of your organisation to competitors.
Most organisations are hemorrhaging their top talent. Here’s how you can avoid such a trend:
You get the behaviours you reward.
Your organisation could be rewarding a lot of counterproductive behaviours in your employees without even realising it. Does your company reward loyalty, the creation and sharing of new knowledge? Or does it reward knowledge hording and an every-man-for-himself attitude and routinely make a big deal about achievements that are not truly meaningful advances in wisdom, but instead just puffed-up chances to show off?
If you want employees who innovate vigorously and who stay with you for the long haul, you need to reward their hard-won wisdom by teaching them to see the importance of their contribution to building a shared knowledge base. Remember, you get the behaviour you reward. So, you have to put in place a rewards system for sharing knowledge -which is your most crucial asset. Understand that there are many significant ways to reward people, and not all of them involve compensation.
It is not just the money, it is the purpose
It is common to think that paying fat salaries will help you retain talented employees. That’s not so; money is important, but humans don’t live on bread alone.
Your top employees need a sense of being validated, seen, and recognised for their work. They also need to feel that their efforts are making an impact in your organisation. How do you let your employees see, feel and experience the positive effects of their work? In a world where many of people work in intangibles like ideas and information, it is key to provide workers with feedback, letting them know that they have made a difference.
To reward your employees, you need to not only pay them competitive salaries, you need to also align them with your sense of purpose and show them tangible signs that their efforts help to drive that purpose forward.
Relate to your employees, from your future view to theirs
Most organisations make the mistake of relating to their employees on the basis of the short-sighted demands of the present moment and from past habits. This is a fast way to nip innovation in the bud among even the most talented and committed staff members.
In order to succeed, you need to communicate and collaborate with your staff from your future view, or the vivid mental picture we each hold of our future existence. This is not the same thing as a goal, plan, ambition or aspiration. Your future view is not what you hope for or are trying to create, it is the picture you actually hold, for better or for worse, of what you expect and believe about your future.
Most people are not fully aware of what their future view is. You have one - everyone has a future view - but often without realising it or examining it. Being unaware of it does not mean it doesn’t control you; it most certainly does.
You have to become aware of your own future view because it puts a tremendously powerful strategic tool in your hands. It hands you the control of your own future. Your future view determines which actions you will take in the present, and which you will avoid taking. Different future views create different realities.
Therefore, as an executive, are you managing the future view of your employees, regardless of current economic conditions? There are people working in your company right now who are already online or on the phone looking for another job. Why? Because of their future view as it pertains to working for your company.
There are also people who are planning on staying. Why? Because the future view of working for your company factors into their future view.
To have the best chance of retaining your most essential employees, you need to get clear on what your own future view is; and communicate and collaborate with your staff to make sure theirs aligns with yours. With the proper application of these principles, you and your staff can look forward to a productive and rewarding future together.