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What does it take to keep good people?


Keeping top talent in today’s competitive business marketplace can be a tricky thing to do. Just finding and recruiting the right talent can prove difficult, while a number of factors can impact such processes.

However, keeping, motivating, inspiring, and making someone feel valued is a whole different kettle of fish. This is especially true in environments where workers don’t feel comfortable giving feedback to their senior management teams, as this is linked to a 16% decrease in overall retention rates.

As a leader, the responsibility of keeping good people in your team ultimately comes down to you. There are many things a company can offer such as perks, parking, and pensions, but it is you who is the face of that business.

The Art of Communication

If Socrates ran a business leadership school, he probably would have said something like this: “A company is as good as its communication.” And we would have to agree with him. Effective communication is the cornerstone of any successful team. Leaders should foster an environment where open and honest dialogue is encouraged.

Regular check-ins, team meetings, and one-on-one discussions provide avenues for understanding the concerns and aspirations of individuals and teams as a whole.

Oftentimes, going through the motions of ‘employee of the month’ might feel a little wooden as if it's the equivalent of pinning a child’s drawing on the fridge, and it can make many team members feel sidelined. When, in fact, there are many individuals doing consistently good work that deserve praise.

Now, this isn’t the green light to bring out the fanfare every time someone washes out their coffee mug, but showing someone that their work is appreciated and encouraging their strengths regularly can only be positive.

Setting Clear Progression Paths and Flexible Working

Professional development opportunities are a powerful tool for retaining top talent. Kim Ekin, editorial and SEO manager at RugbyPass, one of the largest media outlets covering all the top rugby union games, points out: “Leaders should actively identify and nurture the potential of their team members by providing training, mentorship programs, and clear paths for career advancement within their organisation.”

Setting a clear progression path helps employees paint a clear picture of the future within the company in their minds, but also reinforces a sense of loyalty and comradeship.

Another angle you might want to consider in the post-COVID-19 world is to offer flexible working. Embracing flexibility demonstrates trust in the individual's ability to deliver results while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

This approach contributes to a positive work environment and aids in talent retention. Leaders should consider offering options such as remote work, flexible hours, or compressed work weeks.

Overall, the success to keeping good people in your team/organisation doesn’t take leadership wizardry, but some simple, tried-and-tested methods such as communication, praise, professional development opportunities, and some newer approaches such as flexible working.

Demonstrating trust, appreciation, and progression might just be the key to helping you keep good people in your team, and this is a universal rule that applies across all businesses, industries and marketplaces.

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