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5 ways to keep your best people from walking away

Holding onto talent has never been more important
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Employees are quitting their jobs in droves, leaving managers with sizeable talent gaps to fill. In Australia, job vacancies peaked at 362,500 in May – the highest figure since the Australian Bureau of Statistics started collecting this kind of data in 1979 – and marking a 57 per cent increase to pre-COVID numbers. This is a global trend with data to back it up.

In workplaces where staff have already jumped ship, the people left behind are being pushed to pick up the pieces. Workloads have intensified as skeleton staff take on tasks previously done by their departed colleagues. Deadlines have gone from just manageable to unrealistic. Unsurprisingly, those who have stayed put (for now) are starting to think: ‘What else is out there for me?’

Generally speaking, it’s better to hold onto the people you have than to spend precious resources recruiting new ones. Leaders, therefore, need to up their attrition game if they want to have talented employees left. Here are five strategies to try:

  1. Reset expectations – Don’t ask your skeleton staff to do all the things. We’re no maths expert, but a depleted team can’t support a workload designed for a full fleet. Sustained stress can lead to burnout and a drop in productivity. Be realistic about what can be achieved. Make sure there’s a blend of work that allows for creativity as well as delivery.
  2. Create growth opportunities – How many times have you resigned from a job, only for your manager to offer a promotion, new project, more money – whatever it takes for you to stay? It’s enough to make you scream: why couldn’t they have recognised your talent before you got bored? Forward-thinking organisations regularly ask their workers what their dream job would be, or what would make them stick around further down the line. They also make sure they utilise their workers’ skill sets and provide growth opportunities that are tied to their career goals.
  3. Make it worth their while – Yes, money isn’t the be-all-and-end-all for everyone, but no- one wants to work for peanuts or feel undervalued. Use this time as an opportunity to reassess your remuneration strategy. Is there any room for change? Can you correct any pay inequities? Are there any other incentives you could offer staff that’ll reset and refuel?
  4. Understand your people’s needs – Some of your staff might prioritise flexible working arrangements. Others might be incentivised by learning opportunities, or a clear succession plan. Your employees will appreciate you taking time to understand what drives them – particularly if you can help them achieve their objectives.
  5. Recognise achievements – Like everyone, your employees crave recognition – in fact, research suggests that most people value it over gifts or rewards (and plenty of people would produce better work if they received more of it). So acknowledge your staff for a job well done – for the great idea they shared, for appeasing a tricky client, or for smashing expectations. It might seem like a small thing but believe us when we say that praise and acknowledgement go a long way towards keeping your employees engaged.

– The Coach Place Global

Image by @EtiAmmos

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