The Lead Yourself First Blog

Leadership Lesson: How To Retain Great Employees For Long-Term Success

“What could we have done differently?” This is the burning question on every leader’s mind when a great employee decides to leave. There is no question that the cost of rehiring and retraining, the impact on the bottom line and the stress associated with repeating the exercise takes a toll on every type of business. However, the good news is that you can break the cycle by relentlessly adhering to the following strategies:

Focus on what you can control

Continuing to spin your wheels regarding what you could have done to stop a great employee from walking out the door is exhausting. While there is value in assessing events that led to an employee’s decision to part ways, acknowledging the finality of the employee’s choice is often the most difficult aspect. Conducting an exit interview may glean new insights, but the cold hard truth is that it’s too late to alter the outcome at that point. As a leader, you are best served by acknowledging the fact that the “unexpected” does indeed occur and to turn your attention to what you can control.

Embrace the new workplace landscape

The long-term solution for talent retention begins with accepting entirely the new realities of the workplace. These included forever-altered demographics, technologies, hiring practices, and the manner in which we must lead with the future in mind. The millennial generation will comprise of 50% of the global workforce by 2020, and demand for their skills will continue to accelerate.

The workplace landscape has shifted. As a result, your success regarding attracting and retaining talent requires open-mindedness and willingness to cultivate an employee-centric approach in order to maintain the long-term strategic advantage.

Build and sustain a world-class reputation

A volume of research already exists validating the importance of creating an outstanding workplace culture, together with developing great leadership. But that is only part of the success equation when it comes to talent management. Recognize that great employees want to work for great organizations. Employers, you don’t need to be the biggest…you do need to be aware that prospective talent is busily scrutinizing your organization’s reputation when deciding to work for you. Once on board, great employees will continue to be engaged in their work, providing they have the opportunity to fully participate in your brand’s success.

When great employees are passionate about the message that your organization showcases externally, they show their enthusiasm by spreading the word to others; be they clients, friends or family. Most importantly, they are less likely to question your culture and more likely to remain motivated, inspired and emotionally invested in their overall work experience. Leaders, when you decide to commit to these key strategies for long-term success, the process of retaining top talent will become less arduous. Are you ready?




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