Comments by Ed Hussey – People Solutions Director
Retaining talent is key for any organisation especially for those in the Retail & Wholesale sector where customer service is so important. In order to retain the best talent and the right people it is important to develop your employees’ work experience and recognise where you are in relation to your competitors.
Below are some simple techniques that I find effective.
How to retain your best talent
1. Have clear objectives
All employees need a framework in which to operate, so your strategy and objectives should be communicated to each department, team and individual. Providing an inclusive approach will make employees feel valued, motivated and clear on what they need to achieve.
2. Discuss performance and link them with rewards
Implement regular dialog to discuss current performance and set objectives that clearly link to business goals. Highlight their career progression opportunities and understand their longer-term career goals. This can be tied into a rewards programme that benefits top performers, either via salary increases and bonuses or with non-financial rewards such as extra training or holiday.
3. Understand your employee motivations
Employees work for different reasons such as personal fulfilment, love of what they do, or for financial reward. Understanding what motivates them and what they want from their job makes it easier for you to reward them.
4. Promote internal career progression
Career progression should be focussed on understanding what employees really want, trying to give it to them and helping them achieve their aspirations. Having the right person in the right role is important. For example, having senior staff doing junior tasks wastes money and demotivates the individual. Conversely, when people enjoy what they do, changing their responsibilities without considering their aspirations will cause them to disengage.
5. Train supervisors to manage well
Employers often provide technical training but fail to develop people management skills. Basic training in active listening, giving feedback and coaching can make a big difference.
If you do not have the skills in-house, then consider an external mentor. This can introduce new ideas and help grow the team’s capability.
6. Create a pleasant working environment
A pleasant environment makes employees feel relaxed and valued. Keep the workplace well lit, at an ambient temperature and offer comfortable facilities, ideally with refreshments and a relaxation zone.
7. Keep an eye on salaries and benefits
Salaries may not be the main motivator for working, but they are important. You must still be competitive in order to attract and retain the best. Keep an eye on the market rates for your sector and what benefits will appeal. Salary sacrifice arrangements can enable you to provide attractive options for relatively little cost.
8. Share-based incentives
Employee share schemes can be a powerful long-term incentive. Giving key employees a stake in the business and a share in its results aligns their goals with those of the business. In addition, schemes can qualify for generous tax breaks.