The Number 1 Thing Leaders Can Do To Retain Talent

As any business leader knows, retaining top talent is essential to success. Not only do high-performing employees contribute to the bottom line, but they also help to create a positive working environment and set the tone for the rest of the team. So what is it leaders can do to retain talent? 

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According to our experts, leaders who are the most successful in retaining their top talent have a few things in common with this being the most important thing 'Company Culture'.

The recent pandemic has provided us all with time to reflect on what is important. Most of us were forced into working remotely and this allowed us to see the advantages and disadvantages of flexible working. It was also a time where a company’s culture was fully exposed, and we really saw what it was and what it wasn’t.

As we all emerged from the pandemic and things slowly started the journey back to ‘normal’, many of us contemplated ‘why’ we were working, the job we were doing and the company we were working for. I read a statistic that stated that only 8% of office workers in Manhattan had returned to the office full time and five days per week.

When I speak with Candidates about new opportunities their reason for moving is normally based on two to three reasons. Firstly, the culture of the business doesn’t align with their values, and they now want to work for an organisation that ‘fits’ them better. Secondly there is no progression opportunities or not enough opportunities, and they can’t see where they can progress to in the immediate and long term future. The final reason is to strike a better work life balance and have the option to work from home.

According to research the most important factor in retaining staff and increasing employee satisfaction is the culture of the organisation. This means creating a positive workplace culture, developing an environment where employees feel valued and respected, and where they have the opportunity to grow and develop their skills. By investing in their employees, leaders show that they are committed to their development and growth. This sends a strong message that employees are valued and appreciated. Additionally, leaders who provide opportunities for employees to grow their skills and knowledge are more likely to retain them. Employees who feel like they are stagnating are more likely to leave for greener pastures. 

Further research has highlighted that 70% of the variance in a bad and good culture can be seen in the skills, knowledge, behaviour, and talent of the leaders. The most effective way to become better as a leader is simply to do what you say you are going to do.

A credible leader is a leader worth believing in. Live and breathe a positive culture and employee satisfaction will improve, and staff retention will improve.

Finally, leaders who create a culture of respect and inclusion are more likely to retain their employees. Employees who feel like they are part of a team and valued for their contributions are more likely to stick around. Leaders who want to retain their top talent should focus on these three key areas.

In addition, leaders need to make sure that they are offering competitive salaries and benefits, and that they are providing clear career paths. By taking these steps, leaders can ensure that their best employees stick around for the long haul.

About the author
Doug Mackay
5 min read

Having started his career in Executive Search in 1998, Doug set up Collingwood in 2005 alongside his wife, Claire Mackay.

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