Recruitment Insight

Nine ways to prevent losing your best talent to your bigger competitors

5 minute read

I know you don’t want to see your top performing employees go and join another company. You can’t avoid it and it will surely happen, but you can reduce the risk. 

It’s a hot topic for our clients who are scaling their DigiTech companies. It’s frustrating and can really damage your growth acceleration. So just how do you reduce the risk of losing your top talent to your bigger competitors?  

Here are some tips that you can use to retain your best employees.  

Provide an outstanding Onboarding experience 

Onboarding starts the second you make a verbal offer. Ensure you send your new hire the appropriate contract outlining all the details of the job. You will typically have to wait a month or two for them to serve their notice, so ensure you make weekly calls to ensure a smooth transition.

When they do start, don’t leave your new hires clueless of what they need to achieve or responsibilities they must perform. Employees may also have false expectations of the job like inconsistencies with the promotion plan or incentive schemes which can lead to employee’s disappointment or even dissatisfaction. Spend the first week communicating the expectations. You may have done so during the interviewing process, but that could have been weeks ago. 

Ensure that you set a realistic expectation, communicate the company’s goals and their role to achieve those goals. After all, the end goal of having a great onboarding experience is to help new hires adjust their new jobs so they can quickly become productive and contribute to the success of the company. 

Offer innovative benefits that your employees will appreciate

Aside from the basic salary, applicants now look for competitive benefits that they can enjoy while working with the company.  

From the recent study of ​LinkedIn​, employees care about flexible working hours, healthcare coverage and Paid Time Off than other perks. Some of the options you can choose from is offering more annual leave, flexible work schedules and remote options.  Be creative with these options. If you are already offering these and it’s not making the right impact, then ask your employees directly instead of assuming. Conduct surveys ask for feedback and study the results.

Do you employ working parents?

Some of your best employees are probably working parents or pet owners that carry the burden of their home. There are unconventional ways to ease your employee’s pain like allowing them to bring their pets to work. As a parent myself, flexible working would be one of the best options to offer.

Is your company's career development and promotion plan fit for purpose?

This statistic is a little old but still relevant, Gallup’s 2016 survey reveals that 87% of millennials feel that career growth opportunities are an important quality to find in a position. Therefore, to promote employee’s engagement is necessary to provide relevant training and development opportunities. It can be training from the company (mentorship program or personalized programs) or paid outside training events. Don’t just look at it as an investment for the employee but also an investment for your business.

Another ​Gallup’s poll​ reveals that the most common reason why people quit their jobs is career advancement or promotional opportunities. If the employee no longer feels challenged and has been stuck in the same position for a period, they may start to look for a job that will offer promotion or advancement. Your top employees are always interested to know if they have a career path to promotion so be ready to develop an advancement program. 

Are you recognizing and rewarding your staff?

Who doesn’t love recognition? We all do. We want our hard work to pay off or at least be recognized, feel more valued and appreciated. Your best employee is no different, ensure that you let them know they did a job well done and incentivize them to boost employee engagement. It can be a simple award, free lunch or a coupon to their favourite restaurant.  

According to Gallup’s annual study of the American workforce, only one in three employees in the U.S. strongly agrees that they received recognition or praise for doing good work in the past seven days. People who routinely feel that their best work is ignored are twice as likely to say they’ll quit in the next year, so it’s easy to see why it’s important to incentivize employees to stick with you.

Foster trust and build strong relationships 

Create a positive work environment and a good working relationship with colleagues and leaders to reduce employee turnover. REMEMBER, employees spend more time with their co-workers than their family.  

Encourage ​collaboration ​and promote ​trust ​within the team. It doesn’t always have to be work related collaborations, for example some of our clients have entered there teams into running races, they spend their lunchtimes training together.

Give them a purpose and challenge them

According to LinkedIn, 74% of jobseekers want a job where they feel like their work matters. Give your employees a sense of purpose. When employees find meaning in their work, they’ll become inspired to go the extra mile and can encourage them to be consistently engage with the job. Employees who are disengaged mostly lack motivation to work and they might lose sight of their purpose of working and more so their interest to achieve the company’s goals.  

Top talent can easily get bored with the lack of challenge. They want to explore something new or different and stretch their abilities. Give them the right amount of spice to their work, make them step out of their comfort zone to allow them to hone their skills or learn new skills.

Transparency is key 

Accept their feedback -​ Allow multiple channels for your employees to provide feedback and criticisms in real time. It can be one-to-one meetings or a digital network to enable employees to speak freely or be straightforward of their issues and frustrations. Learn your top talent’s problems and take the actionable items now or else be ready to accept their resignation letter. 

When was the last time you sat down with your team members to understand their “Why”?

People's goals and priorities change, as a leader you should understand your top performing team members

Provide your feedback ​- Another way to engage employees is conducting performance reviews or appraisals. Even high performers are interested to know if they are meeting KPIs and what areas they can improve on. Performance reviews should be consistent, constant, specific and positive. This way, they will feel you recognize them for their contributions and hard work, and it reinforces that you value them for what they do for the company’s success.  

Remember it’s cheaper to retain top employees instead of replacing them. It cuts costs, promotes a healthy work environment and boosts team’s efficiency. It is important to know each employee’s needs, keep them happy, challenged and recognized.

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