Talent retention is not a new problem, but it seems to be ever more critical. The question of attracting the brightest and best talents is a key issue for successful companies. Today with large signing bonuses and very attractive salaries and benefits, the more perplexing question is how to best build the loyalty of the talented people. The more talents organizations retain, the more talents they’ll attract.
Organizations should focus on designing a sustainable career package that supports a graduate’s continuous professional and personal development. It is important that an organization keeps track of each individual’s changing needs and priorities. This will be down to the job of a coach or a mentor who should carry the long-term and important responsibility of coaching and mentoring the graduates. Being new to the organization, graduates require continuous feedback and coaching to help them to assimilate well and be successful in their role.
Companies are placing high emphasis on employer branding on tertiary education campuses by engaging students through campus activities. Besides workshops and recruitment talks, the organization also offers business games. They also place emphasis on its employer branding to attract graduate talent. It’s about continuous on-going engagement, delivering consistent messages, following a segmented approach, and diversifying the media they use to communicate with the graduate community. Aside from conducting campus talks and attending career fairs, it has a digital media strategy using Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook to improve the awareness of company.
Organizations offer graduates a number of ways to develop their skills. Employees will be exposed to working on a global scale as well as experience different cultures. They will also learn to manage a diverse work portfolio and serve global clients ranging from conglomerates to fast-growing enterprises. They also gain traveling opportunities for work depending on the project assigned to them.
For example, Ernst & Young has a global development programme called EYU to equip graduates with technical competencies as well as leadership and other relevant soft skills. The programme is a structured framework for everyone in the firm to obtain the right in-house training, on-the-job learning, and coaching and mentoring by seniors to accelerate their career development, Unilever offers new hires the Unilever Future Leaders Program (UFLP), which is a management trainee scheme. The programme helps them learn about business quickly while they are supported with training, mentoring, and career development. This three-year scheme is way to help fast track a person’s career into a management position. At the end of the programme, the successful trainee will be offered his or her first management position. In addition, the organization provides talks and workshops to constantly better the skills of young hires through various development programmes such as ‘how to’ sessions and technical skills sessions that focus on understanding Unilever’s brands. These are run both virtually and on campus.
By Building an Attractive Culture through Open Communication
One way to build an attractive company culture is through effective and open communication. Organizations make themselves a place that people want to join and stay. Continually identify ways to keep people in the loop. Even when there are setbacks, rumors of an acquisition, or anticipated changes in the environment, people want to know what’s going on; The manager involve the staff in the planning and invites their inputs and suggestions so that they don’t feel left out.
Top talent is attracted to and wants to work in open learning environments. Most enjoy being part of a creative team doing collaborative projects. Actively seek these opportunities.
Team building, a process to enhance the energy and cohesiveness of a group, is one means by which organizations accelerates better communication. It helps focus a group on committing to common objectives, striving for high quality results. Team building is not something that happens in a one or two day workshop. It is an evolving and integrated process. There must be a safe environment to have open, honest communication that is appropriate.
Team building is a classic way to foster motivation but may not always produce the expected results. The needs and style of any given group is considered. Some “team” activities designed to build trust may actually erode trust. For example, forcing too much intimacy in dialog about personal matters is inappropriate.
By Respecting the Diversity of the Talent Pool
It is essential for today’s leaders to know how to manage situationally by understanding and respecting the diversity. Everyone has a distinct communication style which dictates how he or she likes to work, deal with conflicts, handle stress, is motivated, and likes recognition.
To determine an individual’s communication style, organizations use a reliable measurement, like the DISC Personal Profile or Myers Briggs Indicator. A good assessment, if handled skillfully, helps the manager to coach and work well with diversity.
- One style, the influencer, likes to be asked questions about themselves and their experiences. They enjoy getting credit and looking good. They like to be included and feel part of a team.
- Another style, the analyzer, likes to figure out how to get things done. They prefer structure, details, thoroughness and quality. They like to work with other high achievers that share these values.
- The stable supporter is not a high risk-taker. They need ample time to make decisions. Organizations Minimize conflict for them and keep them plugged into the team. They greatly value committed relationships and lots of communication.
- The controller wants to be in charge of change and just about everything else. They need details and facts and move very quickly. They are problem solvers and will give a high level of commitment for challenges and stretch goals.
By Recognizing Talent in Ways that Build Loyalty
Nothing motivates more than positive recognition for one’s achievements and contributions. Generous recognition sets the tone in any environment. It reinforces the cultural values and even the purpose of the company. Take advantages of every meeting by recognizing successes. Many leaders spend more time correcting faults, mistakes, and problems than acknowledging other’s positive actions and contributions.
Organizations ask their staff, colleagues, and boss how they like to be recognized. Often a personal short handwritten note can be very meaningful and e-mails aren’t the same. Organizations adjust their means of recognition to individual styles and preferences.
A recent study of exit interviews found that the majority of talent leaving their companies felt unimportant, underutilized and not appreciated. This was especially true with those in their twenties and thirties. They said they didn’t leave because of the money. They left because they didn’t feel valued on a daily basis.
Studies show that people want more meaning in their work and a better quality of life. The managers of the organizations finds out what the people need to enhance the quality of their work environment.
They take time to coach and mentor the people pays off. Point out opportunities in their career growth like encouraging specific training. They are not afraid to ask them tough questions and guide them in finding the right path. They help them identify ways to leverage their skills and accomplishments. Encourage or sponsor them for professional organizations. Give meaningful feedback on how they can get ahead and be of more value to the company.
Organizations catch the people doing something right. Then catch them again and again and again. The more good talent organizations retain, the more they will attract.