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How to Keep Your Best and Brightest Employees

By Sep Barkhodaee
Published on September 11, 2013

Employee training, learning and development through an online training software and online testing software is a key element to business prosperity in today’s day and age. Online courses and tests built in a hosted learning management system will surely deepen your employee talent pool, but keeping these employees around long-term is just as important. Talent retention has become a big focus for organizations in every industry. Twenty years ago, the average person could expect to have three careers over the course of their life. Today that number is five. In the coming decades, it is estimated that the average number of lifetime careers for an individual could climb as high as seven. That represents a lot of workforce mobility. It can sometimes be a blessing when those moving on have become less innovative or invested in their work. However, it also raises the stakes of workforce attrition for organizations that rely on their staff as their major source of value creation.

Retaining their best and brightest is a high priority for every organization. Better compensation in the form of salary, benefits and workplace rewards is one way to keep your employees happy. However, there are also other, less well-publicized, approaches to retention. Here are four tactics worth considering.


1 – Help employees maintain a functional work-life balance. This can take many forms like offering affordable daycare at work for staff or giving them community involvement days off to encourage volunteerism. This makes it more likely an organization’s employees can cope with changes associated with raising a family or continue to connect with issues they are passionate about. Relationships and friendships also need time and work too. Offering employees flexible work schedules, telecommuting and counselling services can help keep them happy and productive.


2 – Create a positive work environment. This is one of the most inexpensive things you can do. It doesn’t rely on large expenditures. It involves training managers to practice good interpersonal skills with employees. Managers should take on a supportive and guiding role with struggling staff members. Leadership can make a work environment positive by encouraging collaboration, acknowledging employees for a job well done and by avoiding favoritism.


3 – Encourage employees to be open and empowered. This involves keeping the lines of communication open at all times between managers and employees as well as between co-workers. Staff should feel comfortable speaking openly, honestly and professionally with organization leaders. Leaders should take seriously their employees suggestions, comments and concerns and follow up in a timely fashion. This helps build trust while allowing the organization to evolve over time.


4 – Ensure skill fit for tasks. Each staff member is an individual. Their needs, whether for training, managerial support or for the maximization of productivity, must be identified effectively and clearly by the organization’s leadership. It also means assigning employees work that they are interested in or that fits their skill set whenever possible. Letting staff contribute from a position of strength puts them at ease and increases the overall quality and efficiency of work.


Try any or all of these approaches out before you start focusing on compensation. Each one of the above tactics can offer lower cost alternatives over the medium and long term to increases in benefits and salaries. Employees might leave for better pay, but if they are happy and feel appreciated, chances are they won’t be looking for other options in the first place.

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