Retaining your star players should be an ongoing priority — they are expensive to replace and might take their insight and skills to the competition. Why then do so many organisations still get it wrong? When you’re implementing your candidate attraction strategy, make sure you’re thinking long term too — attracting great people is pointless if you can't retain them.
Here are six reasons why large companies fail to retain their best people:
1. Management doesn’t listen to the individual
In any organisation, it can be easy to fall into the trap of treating employees as a unit rather than as individuals. Some employees may even get very little face time with their own manager. Take the time to meet with your team. Even if day-to-day business seems to be fine, there can be frustrations that will only surface during a one-to-one. Listen to what they have to say, and show that you’re willing to take reasonable action to resolve any issues.
2. Business restrictions are too confining
Bureaucracy can be a common reason for employees looking to move on, particularly from large corporations. Most executive-level employees will understand the reasoning behind ‘red tape’, but it can still be frustrating if they have no say in particular decisions, processes or rules. It’s important to get the ‘buy-in’ of your top talent before establishing important protocols.
3. No career development and engagement
Don’t always assume that money is the biggest motivator. A strong salary and benefits package alone often isn’t enough to engage your best talent. Most employees will want to know if there are genuine opportunities for career progression, ongoing training and development in their role. Failure to provide a clear career path with your company can lead to disengagement, particularly if there are other roles available elsewhere.
4. Failure to spot conflict
When a conflict goes unnoticed and unaddressed in large corporations, it is usually because nobody realises it’s occurring. Conflict could refer to tension between colleagues, or an unsuccessful and unproductive relationship between a line manager and team member. Such tension may chip away at morale and motivation – and not just for the parties involved. A regular ‘health check’ of your team is a good way to keep an eye out for any problems and deal with them quickly and effectively. You could try putting in place a system where employees feel safe to provide anonymous feedback to highlight any issues.
5. Poor communication of company vision
Employees want to feel excited and passionate about the business they work for and need to see a clear vision on the horizon. If an organisation fails to promote the brand internally and fails to successfully communicate the goals of the business as a whole, employees can soon lack direction and drive. A lack of vision often leads people to look for inspiration in a different place.
6. Ineffective leadership
A lack of strong, consistent management is one of the top reasons for employees leaving. As outlined above, encouraging open, honest feedback is a good way to highlight any pockets of dissatisfaction within the company as a whole and within individual teams. Doing this may point toward poor management in a certain area or even expose a wider problem.
One way to overcome weak leadership is to build up these skills in your employees. Ensure that staff are equipped with skills that can foster leadership, like communication and inclusivity — it may involve additional, ongoing training, but is worth the effort. At every level, there needs to be strong leadership in place.
Learn more about employee retention. Check out these 9 simple but effective ways to motivate your staff or how you can create a compelling employee value proposition.