Retaining Your Most Engaged and Talented Employees

 -  6/30/11

The skills gap is getting wider, shedding light on the importance of retaining workers. Communication and direction can help employers hold on to their workforce.

In a work environment where the war for talent is making it tough to find qualified workers, and key skills are estimated to become even more scarce, the need to retain the most talented individuals by treating people well increases every day.

It is shrewder and more economical to work at keeping top employees than to let them go and spend money on recruiting and training new people who may take time to get up to speed. Losing esteemed colleagues can also have an impact on the rest of the team, department and business. Other workers may feel demoralized if they see the best talent being let go too easily.

Looking at the wider demographic picture brings up another reason to hold on to the best. With baby boomers nearing the end of their careers, a big skills gap is being created that’ll be hard to fill. Skills such as science, mathematics and engineering are predicted to be particularly sparse in the coming years. Managers shouldn’t underestimate how important it is to retain individuals who possess these skills and are in the prime of their working lives.

Retention of crucial talent is so key to businesses’ continued growth and success that it is worth investing the time and effort to ensure these individuals are happy to stay put and develop within the company instead of looking elsewhere for professional opportunities. Top employees enhance companies in several ways: by ensuring customer satisfaction, maintaining balance and productivity within the workplace, and driving product development and innovation onwards and upwards. Retaining employees — even ones who seem engaged and dedicated to the organization — requires a sensible and sensitive approach to the way people work.

Give colleagues a sense of direction. Providing a sense of direction for them and the team overall, plus consistent and regular communication about what needs to be done as well as how they are doing in terms of their feedback, are fundamental to keeping the best and most involved workers. A lack of feedback, in particular, can lead to an employee feeling lost and directionless. It’s vital that workers be given an idea of what they’re doing right and wrong, so they can feel in control of their own improvement, development and destiny.



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