Retaining your key talent
A lot has been and continues to be written about the significance of retention of key talent and strategies that companies need to adopt to retain human capital. Having the right retention strategy always tops the wish list of any organization. Retaining key performers is extremely critical for all organizations, small or big, start-up or established !
I would like to recount below some key pointers that definitely need to be considered and implemented by an organization intending to do it right.
1.Any task done with passion is bound to meet with success.
Organizations are built on passion of a few individuals. As the organization grows, it is imperative that this passion becomes infectious and rubs off on each and every employee. When employees share a passion and are passionate about what they do within an organization, it will be highly unlikely they would want to consider other job options.
However, as the organizations grow in size, the passion gets lost somewhere in the growing phase and every one gets too caught up with the operational demands of the organization. Therefore, it is essential that every influential/key stakeholder within the organization ensures not to lose focus from keeping the passion alive in every single employee, old and new.
2.Keep a very open and transparent communication channel within the organization.
Lack of clarity on what is going on in the organization is a more often heard complaint from employees in an organization. Sharing timely and regular updates with the employees is an effective means of keeping them motivated and sustaining the sense of belongingness.
It is essential that there is an open door policy and the management team is easily accessible and approachable to all employees. Managers should be able to give time to their team members when needed and address any concerns they may have immediately.
While it is easy to share positive updates, such as profits, new clients, salary hikes / bonuses with the employees, it is of critical importance that employees are kept in the loop when organization is facing issues. Most of the times, Managers do not wish to share negative information with their employees as they may not trust their teams to handle it in a matured way and also to avoid the unpleasant meetings. It should, however, be noted that it is equally important to share unpleasant or negative news with employees. Once the management keeps the communication channel so open, employees will be more positive and participative.
We have heard and seen instances where employees have volunatrily supported their organizations in times of crises, when they have been considered partners and are privy to sensitive information.
Employees appreciate honest communication and will be happy to participate in and even suggest plans of action that the organization may want to adopt in trying times.
3. Striking the right work-life balance
It is of critical importance that the organizations provide the right work-life balance, so that employees can achieve both their personal and professional aspirations without much compromise at both ends! It is the responsibility of the management and the HR executives to design and implement the right work-life strategy for the organization. While defining policies that take care of employees’ needs with respect to health care, educational aspirations and flexible work schedules forms part of this strategy, it certainly does not end there.
It has to be noted that at its core, work-life balance is more an individual issue that affects the organization than it is an organizational issue that affects the individual.It is therefore essential to ensure that the work-life strategy is not a ‘one size fit all’ approach, but one that caters to individual needs. This is necessary because the best work-life balance is different for different individuals.In addition, the best work-life balance changes for each individual over time. A good work-life balance for someone starting his or her career is different from that for someone getting ready to retire. A good work-life balance for someone who is single with no children is different from that for a single parent with two children.
When an organization focuses on having a solid general work-life benefit program that is creative / effective and complements it with an individualistic approcah that enables employees to create opportunities to improve their respective work-life balance on their own, then it has achieved its objective of strikinig the right work-life balance. It is needless to say that this will have a cascading positive effect on employee morale, productivity, retention of key talent and organizational effectiveness.
4. Designing and implementing an effective performance management system
A performance appraisal system that is transparent, fair and relevant enables a performance driven culture in an organization. Lack of transparency and concerns of bias have always been roadblocks in achieving a performance management system that is effective.
The most critical aspect of designing an appraisal system is to make sure that we have identified the right KSAs for each role and defined the right measurement matrix.
The next step is to communicate to all concerned on the attributes and the measurement matrices that they are going to be assessed on. It is important that the managers and HR spend ample time on this exercise to avoid any ambiguity.
An efficient assessment system enables an organization to continually assess and improve individual and in turn organizational performance.
Performance evaluation of team members should be an ongoing exercise with informal meetings happening regularly, providing them feedback on their performance.
The HR team should ensure to train the managers to be able to conduct such meetings effectively.
A well working performance management system will help organizations to keep its employees well rewarded and motivated.
5. An effective Reward Program
The feedback from well conducted performance appraisals provides inputs in designing a reward program that is in alignment with organization objectives.
- While designing a reward program, one should keep in mind the following guidelines:
- Establish realistic and quantifiable criteria that are measurable and achievable ;
- The selection criteria should be simple, transparent and understood by all to avoid concerns of bias;
- Make it a point to recognize and reward sooner than later;
- Rewards should be given to significant outstanding performance that advances the department’s goals, and should be tied to a specific accomplishment;
- The scope of the program includes all levels across departments;
- Be innovative to introduce newer categories so that the program does not become stale and uninteresting.
With the above critical elements in place, organizations can certainly look forward to a higher success rate in retaining and improving their key talent.