Retaining employees is one of those things companies might not think about until it’s too late. I always find it interesting that companies put a lot of effort into hiring the right people but don’t really invest the same resources into maintaining their current talent. When the honeymoon is over and the months turn to years, what kind of plan is in place to keep your top talent from disengaging and looking for greener pastures?
Think of employee disengagement as death by a thousand cuts. Damage can be done as covertly as a busy manager not making time to connect and encourage their employees. At the end of the day, the damage is done by small actions or the lack of thereof. Whether we want to admit it or not, we have moved out of the season of “I’m just grateful to have a job” into “I’m grateful for my job but is there something better out there”. Even with a large pool of candidates looking for jobs, it is usually much more cost efficient to retain your current talent than it is to hire and train a new employee.
So how do we prevent the disengagement or, worse yet, the poaching of top talent? Ultimately, it comes down to recognition and that can be achieved through something as simple as a manager being aware of what the employee is achieving, finding that positive encouragement, and delivering it formally or informally. A new assignment or project also shows trust in employees’ capabilities and recognition via an employee rewards program is a great way to show appreciation. The bottom line is this: if companies don’t take the time and resources to implement an employee retention plan, they may find themselves spending more resources on managing turnover.