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Keeping Top Talent at Your Company Isn’t All About Luck

March 14, 2013


With shamrocks abound and the color green in every corner, we know it’s almost time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  With this holiday comes the idea of luck.  I’ve heard people toss around the word luck in many situations but should you consider luck in your talent management plan? After you find the perfect candidate should you leave up to luck that they stay at your organization? I would say, absolutely not!   You need more than just luck to keep those top employees around.

After you have put in the time, effort and investment to hire the best employees possible, you'll need to retain that talent.   Many books have been written and exit interviews conducted as employers look for the secret to keeping their good employees satisfied.  I can assure you this has nothing to do with luck.

Salary, retirement plans and vacation benefits are all high on the list of why those great employees took the job, but they are not reasons enough to keep them employed at your organization for the long haul.  Job satisfaction will increase your employee retention rate.  Here are a few strategies you can use to retain your talent:


1.  Create an environment that makes your employees feel like an asset to your company.  Don’t make them feel like overhead.  Allow them to feel secure in their job.  Greet them by name, letting them know that you know who they are and what their contributions are to the company.  Get their input about rules or changes that may need to be made.  Encourage goal-setting and let them make their own choices as often as possible.


2.  Make expectations and goals of the company clear.  Be sure you have job descriptions so your employees know what is required of them.  If there are changes that need to be made, don’t expect them to learn that by osmosis.  You must communicate directly and clearly.  Good employees want to please you, but they need to know what it is they need to do to make that happen.


3.  Create an open and honest work environment.  Give feedback on work performed and be willing to listen, really listen, to the concerns of your employees.  Chance meetings in the hall where social greetings are exchanged are good, but do not take the place of actually sitting down face-to-face and discussing any work-related concerns.  Be open and listen to new ideas.  Accept suggestions for problem-solving.  Be available and open when your employee asks for your guidance.  Keep your top talent informed about what is happening with the company - don’t let rumors take over. If there are problems or set-backs, communicate this.


Above all else, an effective hiring process builds the foundation for all of the tactics listed here.  Position yourself to choose candidates who are a good fit for both the job and the organization:  Be sure to determine what competencies and skills are required for success, and then use valid hiring tools to identify individuals who possess these characteristics.  You'll be rewarded, not only with a strong employee retention rate, but also with loyal employees who contribute to your organization's success - for the long-term. And leave the luck to the Leprechauns! 

Amber Thomas Amber Thomas is a Consultant at PSI. In her role, Amber provides custom solutions to a variety of industries. Her contributions include project oversight, day-to-day client support, and on-going consultation.