An increasingly competitive post-recession corporate landscape is presenting a growing challenge for all organisations: retention. One in three businesses saw a rise in the number of resignations in 2013-14, while 75 percent of UK employees applied for a new job in the past year. This growing trend of dissatisfaction, combined with an ever expanding recruitment marketplace, highlights the need for effective talent management and companies to fully nurture and engage employees.
The proliferation of online recruitment resources and social media’s rapid uptake have driven the need for a heightened focus on talent management, with both enabling employees to put themselves out to market on a global scale. Organisations must look to identify its key performers and put necessary measures in place to guard against dissatisfaction. The costs of not doing so are simply too sizeable to overlook.
Lost talent and unmotivated staff: what are the consequences?
There is significant financial outlay attached to the recruitment of new staff to replace departing employees – including advertising, interviewing candidates, onboarding and the provision of training which, depending on the position being filled, can be extensive. However, the real cost of losing staff goes far beyond the recruitment and induction process.
One of the primary implications of not actively investing in retention is the impact on productivity at multiple levels. New arrivals, no matter how talented or passionate, on average take a minimum of six months to get up to speed with a role and reach the productivity of the person that they have replaced. This, in turn, can have a negative impact on surrounding colleagues, many of whom will have to take on increased workloads during the period of transition.
In addition, and especially where senior talent is concerned, the loss of knowledge can have a sizeable implication on an organisation’s daily operations, internal morale and in turn on wider brand reputation. Experienced staff members will accumulate vast internal and market information that can be invaluable to productivity and service delivery, but is often overlooked. The departure of long-standing and/or senior members of staff can, thus, be highly detrimental to corporate culture, leaving those remaining behind to question their own positions and future career plans.
Talent management goes beyond retention, however, as above all else its primary objective should be employee engagement, in order to minimise the ongoing cost of an unmotivated workforce. According to recent research, only 17 percent of UK employees are actively engaged at work, in comparison with 30 percent in the United States. Employees that feel unsupported or undervalued are unlikely to contribute at the same level of productivity as engaged colleagues and may also foster an infectiously negative corporate atmosphere.
Demonstrate a clear commitment to internal mobility and transparency
A focus on open dialogue and developing an understanding of what motivates staff will play a big part in engendering heightened engagement and, in turn, boosting retention rates. A vital step in this is being able to provide a clear path for development. Demonstrating a commitment to career progression is best achieved through clearly-communicated internal mobility programmes. This is of paramount importance as it provides an opportunity for employees to be aware of and buy into wider corporate objectives through transparent dialogue; especially vital as talented employees become increasingly aware of their market value and sought out by recruiters.
Tools now exist to prevent staff feeling under-valued or over-worked, with human capital management solutions enabling businesses to readily identify high performers, to set clear objectives and to analyse current salaries against the marketplace. In addition, staff engagement levels can be readily assessed on a broader scale, enabling organisations to take proactive measures to keep the workforce engaged and aligned with strategic goals. Making an investment in facilitating clear and transparent dialogue with employees can play a substantial role in engaging and retaining key talent; helping organisations to focus on working towards achieving their wider corporate objectives.