Recognising & Retaining Talent in the New Year

It’s no secret that to be the best you should employ the best. According to Gallup research, ‘when companies select the top 20% most talented candidates for a role, they frequently realise a 10% increase in productivity, a 20% increase in sales, a 30% increase in profitability, a 10% decrease in turnover and a 25% decrease in unscheduled absences’. These numbers are not lost on large and successful brands, they understand how crucial it is to attract the right calibre talent, and once landed, how crucial it is to retain that talent.

But retention is an ongoing strategy, and it can be particularly challenging in the new year when many people are inspired by resolutions and the lure of new beginnings. At this juncture it’s imperative that you create momentum to help propel employees from the euphoric heights of their Christmas bonus and time off through the potentially rocky patch that is January. This begins by acknowledging and recognising their contribution to the company.

Did you know that according to an Accenture study cited in Forbes , 43% of people left their job because of a lack of recognition? Underestimate the power of recognition and appreciation at your own peril. And while it should already be a cornerstone of your company culture (and an active part of your employer brand), there is immense benefit in doubling those efforts at the start of a new year. Whether it’s a hand-written ‘thank you’ card, service award, spot bonus or Google’s favoured peer-to-peer bonus; by reminding people that they are valued, part of a team and needed, you foster loyalty and employee engagement. All of which goes a long way towards keeping talent where you want it to be – beside you, building a successful company and a healthy bottom line.

Next, to combat the grass-may-be-greener mindset, offer opportunities for growth and development. An overwhelming number of employees leave positions because they aren’t given the opportunity to further develop their skill set. Frustrated by unfulfilled career aspirations, job satisfaction plunges and they begin to look elsewhere. By investing in training and development programmes, employees feel valued and more secure in their ability, they become more productive and effective, and that increases profitability for the business. Also consider implementing a reward strategy that kicks off in January, something that motivates your team and has them ready to hit the ground running from day one. It can dovetail into your long-term programme or it can run independently for the month of January to create a sense of urgency and heightened motivation.

Take a look at your organisation – are you doing everything you can to recognise and retain your top talent? For more on how to optimise your strategy, contact Debbie Ghillino (debbie@theincentivecompany.co.za) at The Incentive Company – leading experts in staff reward and recognition programmes, incentive programmes, performance improvement and reward fulfilment.

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