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Employee Retention Strategy: How to Attract and Retain Top Performers Talent is a driving force behind Human Resource contributions to organizational success. The ability to attract and retain such talent is rapidly becoming one of the key issues for human resource managers and their organizations across the globe. High performance organizations are consistently outperforming their competitors on a number of human resource factors, including the level of teamwork and openness between co-workers, the training and development opportunities they offer to employees and the degree of pro activity in HR planning.

Developing this capability begins with the realization that effective human resource management underpins the competitiveness of organizations. Regardless of an employer’s size or industry, during the last 50 years waves of change have swept over organizations. this created pivotal space for talent retention. The companies now offer various attractive compensation packages to the employees and other good features to attract and retain the work force. The other developments like Business process outsourcing, Knowledge process outsourcing, Virtual organizations, etc also provide more opportunities to the employees for switching into more jobs.

Talent management definition A conscious, deliberate approach undertaken to attract, develop and retain people with the aptitude and abilities to meet current and future organisational needs. Talent management involves individual and organisational development in response to a changing and complex operating environment. It includes the creation and maintenance of a supportive, people oriented organisation culture. Importance of talent management Like human capital, talent management is gaining increased attention.

Talent management (TM) brings together a number of important human resources (HR) and management initiatives. Organisations that formally decide to “manage their talent” undertake a strategic analysis of their current HR processes. This is to ensure that a co-ordinated, performance oriented approach is adopted. Quite often, organisations adopting a TM approach will focus on co-ordinating and integrating: * Recruitment – ensuring the right people are attracted to the organisation. * Retention – developing and implementing practices that reward and support employees. Employee development – ensuring continuous informal and formal learning and development. * Leadership and “high potential employee” development – specific development programs for existing and future leaders. * Performance management – specific processes that nurture and support performance, including feedback/measurement. * Workforce planning – planning for business and general changes, including the older workforce and current/future skills shortages. * Culture – development of a positive, progressive and high performance “way of operating”.

One of the biggest challenges companies are facing is the attraction and retention of top performers. The World Future Society predicted that the greatest test of durability for companies in the next five years would be the ability to get and keep good people. In some industries such as the homebuilding industry there is a phenomenon of merry-go-round employees where employees jump ship within the industry and companies are recycling employees. In the finance industry the big question to a top performer is “Where did you jump from? The greatest challenge faced today by organisations the world over is retaining talented employees in the organisation. A debate raging since many decades has been as to whether to retain them is more important than finding a successor to the vacant position. Whilst the argument continues, let us examine the causes, consequences and control of employee turnover in an organisation. By employee turnover, we mean that employees of an organisation cease to remain in the services of that organisation and leave for reasons best known to them.

Some of the causes/consequences could be classified as: Dissatisfaction parameter: Employees are dissatisfied with the salaries, perks and benefits offered by the organisation they are currently in. They may also be dissatisfied with their bosses or find their jobs meaningless and unimportant as a result of which their job satisfaction levels are very low. Further they may be dissatisfied with career opportunities in the organisation or even its personnel policies in general. As a consequence of the above, Employees leave to join other organisations which satisfy their needs.

As the wheel of time moves along, they find a third organisation which offers to satisfy them even more. Thus they change again i. e. they are perennially job-hopping from one organisation to another. Alternatives parameter: Here the employee leaves the organisation in search of “greener pastures” such as starting his own business, joining the family business, joining an organisation in a foreign country or even availing of the Voluntary Retirement Scheme of the organisation and relaxing at home, living off the interest generated from fixed deposits and investment.

An interesting trend in recent years in has been that many managers leave industry to become consultants or even faculty in management institutes or go abroad to complete their PhD or further studies. It is important to note here that the separation here was not because of dissatisfaction with respect to the present organisation but because of other available alternatives and inclinations in that direction by the employees. The consequence here is that the organisation loses some talented employees for no fault of theirs.

In some organisations some of these employees are even used as consultants on a retainership basis from time to time. This is possible if and only if the separated employees are not always in a competitive area of work. Personal parameter: In this case, the employee chooses to separate himself from the organisation because of personal reasons such as ill-health, desire to return to the native place for family reasons, the spouse is transferred and the current organisation has no branch in the new location and so on.

In the Indian context, women may have to give up their jobs post-marriage to resettle elsewhere in the country or even post-pregnancy. As some of the above problems are more common with the women employees, many organisations have an unwritten policy, which is widely practised i. e. to minimise employment of women. This is a very unfair and biased policy and unfortunately many competent and well-qualified women have had to suffer. But companies argue that many women executives, even in today’s Indian context have to quit jobs after marriage or pregnancy.

It is best therefore not to generalise and treat such cases on their respective merits. Organisation initiated parameter: Sometimes employees have to separate from an organisation as they have not completed their probation period successfully or they are being laid off for want of work or their appointment was only on a temporary basis. In fact it is this aspect of separation that is most unpleasant since the earlier ones discussed were cases of separation which were employee initiated. Care must e taken by the organisations to ensure that the above be carried out as smoothly as possible else, this could create a lot of negative impressions about the company which could be detrimental for the organisation’s image in the long run. One major consequence of this type of separation is that it affects the morale of the employees at large and creates a feeling of insecurity in general. Let us realize that today recruitment has become both a highly specialised area and a costly exercise too. Once an individual joins an organisation, costs incurred on him include Acquisition costs i. e. ost of recruitment, selection and placement &Training Costs i. e. induction, specialised training and on the job training. Besides when he separates from the organisation, the company faces the cost of his position lying vacant besides having to pay his separation pay and such dues. Hence organisations today are focusing on minimising employee turnover with great gusto. Some of the control measures taken are: – Having a well-designed and dynamic Compensation and Benefits system which is highly competitive. – Providing opportunities for further growth in the organisation via career planning/ succession planning. Develop a highly conducive and pro-active work culture in the organisation where openness, creativity and commitment are valued. One executive management client had left a specific financial institution because she was wooed by a competitor. Once there, she wasn’t as happy as she thought would be and was wooed back again to the original employer. She did this back and forth thing two more times! This is very common in specific industries as the fight for good people continues. So how do we attract the top performers and second to that how do we keep them from jumping?

Here are the top five things leaders can do to attract and keep the best of the best: 1) Top talent wants to work for the top companies. If your company is committed to superior practices, has profile and brand recognition and is known for exemplary management practices, you will have a list of salivating hopefuls lined up to work for your company. This would be a good problem to have. Bottom line – the company needs to be working towards being the best, brand recognition and having excellent employee systems in place. 2) Build it and they will come.

If your company is revamping, rebuilding or restructuring, be aware that every man and his dog out there has been through some form of reengineering in the workplace. To attract top talent you need to be able to show the vision of where you are taking the company and offer the opportunity for the talent to be part of building the new dream. Top performers are often drivers, which mean they are turned on by challenge, change and results. 3) Recognize and reward over and over again. Money isn’t everything to top performers. On a list of ten items that are important to top performers, money ranks at number four.

The most important element for top performers is having challenging work, the second is having an open and honest work environment, third is recognition for work and fourth is money. Again top performers thrive on opportunities for recognition in the form of time off, family days off or flex work schedules. 4) Don’t take them for granted. Like anything, the novelty and excitement of a new job tends to wear off after about six months or so. Human nature is often to leave a good thing alone and this could be the worst thing we could do to our top performers.

Ongoing coaching, retreats and training are crucial to top performers. Again people at the top of their game tend to be lifelong learners and are eager to learn as much as they can. Do not underestimate the value of providing ongoing learning opportunities, reimbursement for college or university and giving them challenging projects where they can be stimulated and challenged. 5) Know what thy enemy does. Be on top of your competitor’s practices around attraction and retention of top performers. Don’t get blindsided by a top performer coming to you to tell you what they have been offered.

Be aware first and ensure you address it once you find out. If you are consistently establishing a top performers’ value they won’t go looking elsewhere but often when we don’t pay attention to what else is out there they may be scouted right out from under your nose. Powerful leaders know that the success of their company is built on the quality of their people. Conclusion: Employees today are different. They are not the ones who don’t have good opportunities in hand. As soon as they feel dissatisfied with the current employer or the job, they switch over to the next job.

It is the responsibility of the employer to retain their best employees. If they don’t, they would be left with no good employees. A good employer should know how to attract and retain its employees.

References: 1. http://retention. naukrihub. com/compensation. html 2. “Human Resource Management –Best practices and Cases-Sumati Reddy”, ICFAI university press. 3. Human Resource Management 4. http://www. therainmakergroupinc. com/ 5. http://www. google. co. in/search? source=ig&hl=en&rlz=&q=retention+strategies+for+talent&aq=o&oq