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Retaining your organisation’s talent

Retaining your organisation’s talent

13/03/2017 - Rose Osemwengie

When the transfer window opens across the Football Association, loyal football fans are often left in dismay as they learn that key players in their Fan Club have been bought out or have signed a new contract with a rival and often unexpected Football Club. These key players, although they give their heart and soul to their new team and club once in it, they willingly accept a more attractive opportunity (often in the form of pay, club popularity and appropriate utilisation of their skill-set) when it arises.

In this same way, the days where business employees remain loyal to one company until retirement is slowly thinning, especially amongst Generation Y. Employee job satisfaction is becoming an increasingly important variable in determining turnover rates, as handing in a resignation letter is now met with little hesitation, if a certain level of satisfaction with the role and company as a whole is absent.

The results of a 2013 survey conducted by XpertHR showed that the national voluntary resignation rate was recorded at 7.9% in 2011, rising to 8.9% in 2012.

There are many aspects to job satisfaction and various factors which determine the level of contentment and sense of accomplishment an employee derives from their job. Four key aspects are: Job Security, Employee mind-set, Pay and Reward and Leadership and Relationship. These key aspects are also vital elements in retaining your organisation’s top performers.

Job Security: It is important for your top performers to not only feel that their role is secure, but also that the organisation they work in is secure and will withstand upheaval. One of the reasons for such upheaval is a lack of a clearly defined Talent Strategy within a business. In our 20 years of experience in the Talent Management sphere, we have found that many organisations are not built upon a clear Talent Strategy and with a clear definition of Talent. Responsibility falls on the HR leaders to develop a robust organisational Talent Strategy mapped against that organisation’s unique Blueprint for Potential, create an agile Talent Model and then assess and develop employees based on this.

Most importantly, this Talent Strategy should be consistently applied and communicated across the whole organisation so that it is embedded in the employee mind-set.

Only 20% of organisations openly communicate their Talent Strategy.

Employee Mind-set: An individual’s mind-set and attitude is key to their ability to reach their full potential. Although it is important for an organisation to have clear short and long term goals, it is equally important for their employees to have the right mind-set required to achieve these goals. Zircon/BeTalent’s Winning Attitude tool measures the unique winning attributes of an individual and therefore enables an organisation to understand their employee’s mind-set and engagement towards the pursuit of business goals. Developing employees based on their Winning Attitude will allow them draw upon their unique internal attributes in order to remain continually engaged and driven towards achieving the set goal. Hence, business leaders should cultivate a culture of success whereby employees are continuously motivated and driven to achieve more, and where the strengths of employees are harnessed and fully utilised.

Pay and Reward: The days where an employee sheepishly walks into their boss’ office, nervously sweating and saying a silent prayer before asking for a raise, are slowly thinning. In the present day, employees are much bolder about what they feel they should be earning, based on the amount of work they put in, and would resign/decline an offer from a business where this is not met with little hesitation. Pay and Reward is more than financial earnings however, it could also be in the form of compensation, promotion, additional benefits or a simple “thank you”. The crucial element is that the employee feels that they are getting what they deserve from the level of input they have/will put in, as such the reward needs to feel fair and be applied correctly. They also need to feel that their employer is really putting them at the heart of what they do, getting the impressions that ‘You are important to us and we will look after you’. Employers now need to be creative about their employee proposition, not only to include flexible benefits that really make life better for their people, but they also need to ensure that they articulate their purpose and ensure it reflects in their benefits, culture, recognition and pay.

Leadership and relationship: An organisation’s leaders are the backbone of any business, hence employees need to feel confident in, engaged with and empowered by their leaders. Leaders play a key role in forming the culture and environment that circulates around the business and as such, their actions and interactions determine whether or not employees feel a part of the business. Innecto Reward Consulting have identified three attributes of a high performing employer/leader that are central to determining employee turnover and therefore the rate at which an organisation’s Talent is retained. These are: clear leadership in uncertain times, fairness and employee voice. Employees need to be confident that the leadership team can manoeuvre the business smoothly during change or uncertainty, they need to feel fairly rewarded and treated as employees of the business and they also need to feel like their opinions and views matter within the business and its activities.

Retaining your organisation’s Talent is about much more than giving them a pay rise, it is also about having the right structure, mind-set and leadership within your business, and most of all harnessing the full potential of your people.

Written by Rose A. Osemwengie, Business Psychologist


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