Today’s business environment is witnessing some questionable changes. We are hearing terms like “the great resignation” and “the new workplace”, which are terms that may have not crossed our minds had it not been for the turn of events that happened in 2020 and 2021. Many organizations are re-evaluating their people strategies and many are finding difficulty in attracting and retaining key talent.

These past two years have been years of awakening for many of us. People are known to change overtime even under normal circumstances, so when disruptive events happen, this change is sometimes magnified. Consequently, the cause of employee turnover changes as well. What got an employee to choose an employer originally may not be what keeps them there. Employees’ needs are constantly evolving, and it’s time for employers to ask themselves: Is our talent retention strategy addressing these “newborn” needs?

It is time to recognize that we have reached a new age of talent retention where the primary step is to do more listening than talking. The purpose is to strengthen the connection with employees and learn what is most important to them.

Here are some ways to address the above-mentioned challenges:

  1. Prioritize talent

Prioritize employees based on who is making the most positive impact on the organization. The key talent in your company knows their net worth to the organization and wants to contribute to something bigger than the projects that they are assigned on. With all the technological advancements that are happening around us, many employees now have the opportunity and the skills to build something new and grow with it. For that reason, employers today should act like a ‘start up’ by offering employees the chance to experiment, to work in different teams, learn new skills and use their skills in various ways. 

  1. Remember that flexibility can be a deal breaker

The evolution of company perks has led to a change of status for some benefits that went from being dealmakers to becoming hiring expectations. Over the years, companies have implemented several trends related to perks and benefits, like having a fun area at work, organizing company events, changing the office settings and many others. However, several employees’ experiences in the past couple of years have opened their eyes to the limitations of a 9-to-5 job and of working from an office. Data today suggests that if current and future talents in the workforce are both accepting more fluid workdays, then flexibility is on its way to becoming one of the main deal breakers in employment. People want to learn and grow in their careers, but they also need balance. Recognizing and addressing this need for flexibility will assist you in attracting and retaining the right talent and in becoming a proactive leader in the new workplace.

  1. Keep the recruitment door open

The time to think about your next hire is not when an employee resigns, but always. As daunting as the recruitment process may be, it is also an opportunity to learn more about the talent market, develop and update your job requirements and have a network of talent to connect with. Embracing a recruitment mindset means knowing what your team is lacking even before a shortage occurs. It also means being ready to grab any opportunity, especially through nontraditional channels. This shift in mindset also involves acting like an ambassador for your business no matter where you are. It also means constantly assessing your team’s skills and actively networking and evaluating your sourcing needs long before any employee hands in their notice.

  1. Adopt a data-driven approach

Before identifying the fundamental causes of turnover at your organization, it’s important to quantify both the problem and its impact. By calculating the retention rate at your company, you can also quantify its impact on your business using relevant metrics like key skill sets or competencies, quality of work, time investment, revenue and others. The next step would be to detect the root causes of resignations. Using metrics like compensation and benefits, career path, seniority, performance level, and learning opportunities can help you spot trends and areas of improvement within your organization. These findings will guide you towards setting a data-driven and tailored retention strategy that fits your organization’s needs.

Adopting an ideal data-driven retention strategy is not a simple and straightforward process, but today, more than ever; it’s worth the effort to do it right. It’s time to look around and pay attention to what employees are saying because they are your most reliable source of information. It’s time to ask yourself: Is my retention program out-of-date? Am I still following a traditional approach that is no longer serving its purpose? When was the last time I asked the key talent at my organization what they actually want?

Am I ready to evolve into the new age of talent retention?

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