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7 steps to retaining talent

By Cranfield School of Management

7 steps to retaining talent crowned chess piece

An organisation can’t function without its people, so retaining talented employees is essential to its success.

High staff turnover negatively impacts the bottom line, with experts at The Wall Street Journal noting that it can cost more than twice an employee’s salary to find and train a replacement. What's more, it can also damage a company's culture and lead to lost knowledge when skilled employees go elsewhere.

These insights can help managers hire, engage and retain the right people.

1. Focus on a strong cultural fit 

Look further than whether a person can simply do the job - it's just as important that their personality, values and direction slot nicely into the company and team culture. Blend competency based questions with those which reveal their nature and ambitions.

2. Communicate openly 

Learn what motivates individuals, then keep them satisfied and engaged. Schedule regular reviews, and ask them to be open about their ambitions, and whether they feel challenged. Some people will be driven by remuneration, while others are engaged by a sense of purpose.

3. Pay attention to individuals

Asking staff to share their key motivations, strengths and frustration points can be very productive, but sometimes people withhold the information. That's why it's also important to observe them, to understanding what makes them tick.

4. Facilitate knowledge sharing

Employees tend to feel more engaged when their ideas and feedback are encouraged, collected and acted upon where relevant. That's because it improves their sense of investment in the business, improves morale, and nurtures diverse perspectives that keep their organisation innovative and in alignment with staff opinion.

5. Know the destination 

As talented employees are often ambitious and like to develop, the things they find challenging and stimulating tend to change. Get to know their career direction and help them achieve it within your organisation. Work with them to create a plan then track their progress to develop their career path.

6. Acknowledge excellence 

People need to be recognised for their hard work and talent - not only does this improve their engagement, it usually leads to a more productive organisation where people want to spend their time. Keep an eye out for individual achievements, circulate their successes and give individuals meaningful praise.

7. Pay appropriately 

Last but not least, the right wage will prevent employees from feeling undervalued financially. Ensure your pay brackets are competitive in your sector and review them regularly so you don't become out of touch with reality, or lose talented people to better paying competitors.

At Cranfield School of Management, we believe that leadership is a skill that needs to be honed, developed and nurtured.

Each of our General Management programmes are designed to offer a comprehensive and integrated personal development experience for people at critical transition points in their managerial career.

To learn more about how to retain talent, protect company culture and have a positive impact on your bottom line, get in touch 

Tags: Cranfield School of Management, exec-feature, developing leadership, executive development, talent development, general management, bottom line, talent retention, culture