Retention strategy – and how to keep your best people

Hiring talented individuals is one thing. Hanging on to them is another. It’s the problem facing many companies in South Africa. Keeping hold of your star performers is essential, as they are destined to be your future managers. It’s therefore imperative that you have a sound retention strategy in place.

Losing your best employees to rivals or seeing them go overseas to further their careers is not only damaging for your company but potentially bad for staff morale as they see their role models leave.

Their leaving message is clear: ‘to further your career guys, you’ll need to move on’. To avoid losing your key people, there are a number of things you can do with your retention strategy.

Promote sooner rather than later

Once you identify talent, encourage it, nurture it and be prepared to promote to reward. Talented staff are naturally ambitious, so a promotion will be a big statement from you, demonstrating that you believe and trust in that person, and see them as the future of the company. Once a manager, they can not only help your business prosper, but inspire other staff. That early promotion will be proof that anyone can earn such a reward if they perform well.

Training and development

Smart people love to learn new skills. They’ll lap up any training opportunities offered, and appreciate the company’s commitment to their development. Make sure you have good training programmes in place, for everyone at all stages of their career. Neglecting this area is asking for trouble further down the line.

Communicate your vision

All employees need to be kept informed of the company vision, updated on performance and goals. It’s all part of making sure people feel included and part of the company. It will help keep everyone focused and reading from the same page.

Listen to people

It sounds obvious, but this action won’t even cost you money. All it needs is a commitment to sit down regularly with your staff – and particularly your best people, and talk. Take them for coffee and ask how they’re feeling. Let them vent any frustrations simmering away or expose ideas they may have. You’ll be amazed how much this human, face-to-face interaction means to people.

Recruitment advice from Michael Page 

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