How to Hold on to Top Talent

ThinkstockPhotos-468605608In today’s competitive job market, job seekers have the upper hand as companies scramble to find and retain top talent. In fact, according to Addison Group, a leading staffing and recruiting firm, while only 16 percent of workers are actively looking for a new job, almost half keep their resumes up to date, even when steadily employed. In essence, they are available as highly attractive, passive job seekers. Moreover, nearly a third of workers admit to passively browsing for new opportunities and admit they are open to interviewing for a different role.

So how can companies ensure their workers won’t jump ship when presented with the next best opportunity? Addison Group recently conducted a survey that sheds light into what employees desire most – critical for employers who wish to attract and retain top talent.

  • Be aware of compensation expectations. With ample resources available online, workers can easily see how their salary matches up to similar positions across the industry. Nearly half of workers said they would leave their job if they were not making enough money and wouldn’t mind job-hopping to boost their salary. Not only do workers want fair compensation, but also annual rewards for their hard work. Just shy of 50 percent of Gen Xers and Millennials believe a raise is a right, and a quarter of workers said they are actively seeking a raise this year, an important fact for employers to keep in mind.

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  • Provide learning opportunities. Companies can benefit from implementing internal training in more ways than one. With two in five workers saying their ideal company provides internal training opportunities, educating employees will improve morale, advance skillsets and increase productivity. Work with HR to develop a monthly company-wide education platform designed to teach employees new skills – this investment will pay off big dividends.
  • Map out success. Almost half of workers said their ideal company gives them control over their own career progression, yet only 19 percent of workers said they are satisfied with their current path for advancement. Additionally, 40 percent of workers say they want clear direction of what they need to do to move up the ladder. As a result, don’t assume each employee has the same career path. Instead work with employees to build a customized plan addressing specific goals. Give employees the opportunity to grow within your organization and provide a clear map of what it takes to be successful. At a minimum, there must be an open dialogue about each employee’s growth aspirations.
  • Prioritize work-life balance. Not only will this prevent employees from burning out, but a healthy break from work can actually encourage employees to be more productive. Almost two-thirds of workers said their ideal company cares about work-life balance, and nearly the same number said their ideal company allows flexible schedules. An extra personal day during a birthday month or summer hours are great ways to incentivize workers and create a happy workplace.
  • Understand management needs. It’s commonly said employees don’t leave their job, they leave their manager. Almost two-thirds of workers want a manager who provides honest feedback and over half want one who demonstrates trust. An open line of communication with employees can make or break the stability of the relationship. Additionally, nearly a third of all workers tie their professional growth to having a manager. So, invest time into your workers and find the best management style to encourage a productive office and a happy workforce.

MORE: The unsung hero of retention

Jay Houston

Jay Houston
Jay Houston is president of the finance & accounting practice at Addison Group.

Jay Houston

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