By Sudeshna Basu Roy
Attracting and retaining great employees have become very important for the growth and success of an organisation these days. Successful companies manage to retain talent because they invest in leadership growth and development, and these successful leaders are able to spell out the following very effectively to retain talent:
1. Meaningful Roles, Career Paths: All of us like to see where does this road take us. A career employee needs to find answers to questions of what next – in order to invest into their development, and to stay with the company that offers them such opportunities. What does this mean for the organisation? Being able to provide an employee with not just bands and levels but also a path to reach there is important.
2. Lateral Development: Companies lose talent when employees define themselves in a silo (a particular function/department) and then define growth vertically. This leads to “promotions” being the only index of success. Being open to moving between paths and helping employees understand how to do that (rotations, secondments, sabbaticals, cross-functional projects, etc.) would be just as important to demonstrate that the company is willing to give you an opportunity to laterally develop and eventually grow.
3. Supporting initiative@work: Formal structures (organisations, educational institutions, family networks) tend to slow down initiative and energy through applying rules and processes. While some of this is in the “nature of the beast”, self-aware organisations understand the opposing pulls of reliable, scalable processes and empowered creative individuals. Employees like to see examples of empowerment that demonstrate an organisation’s willingness to pilot ideas and encourage intelligent failures.
4. Two-Way, Real-Time Information Flow: Employees live in a “real” world where information flows at the speed of light and struggle to understand why the organisation takes time to deliver information (esp. those that impact them). Embracing an internal technology platform and ensuring all levels of the organisation access and use would be a significant way to strengthen an inclusive culture.
5. Purposeful Work: While organisations do make the missions and vision meaningful at the corporate level, much gets lost in translation as each department, function, or team then develops its own raison d’être. Talent stays on where they can see a connection between their work, their team’s efforts and the company’s fortunes. Bringing purpose to work that connects the individual and the corporate is critical.
6. Investing into Teams: While enough has been said on making teams successful and leading them well, it is important for an organisation to identify and brand successful teams. Talent associated with the team then builds stronger connections with the company as they realise that the company recognises the teamwork and the team performance – and no one wants to break-up a good team.
7. Being a Part of a Community – Professionally: Talent loves to work in organisations that are active members in professional communities. The more employees get chance to represent the companies in different forums and contexts, the higher their identification with their employer. This is further strengthened when they see themselves or their colleagues contribute to the community in a meaningful way.
8. Being a Part of a Community – Socially: Employees like to see give back to the society – as individuals and as an organisation. Organisations that actively contribute (not just money but also effort) and provide the opportunity for employees to do so bring non-material reasons for an employee to connect with the organisation.
9. Transparency on Remuneration: Organizations that make the performance management system transparent tend to retain talent better. If employees have a clear insight into processes of grading, rating, ranking, pay hike, distribution of amount and the bases of that , reasons and justifications, then they are far more motivated to focus their actions to achieve personal and organizational goals.
10. Self Development: A formal system and process of training/ certifications to enhance skillsets of employees should be in place giving equal opportunities to all and making it a level playing field for all employees to work towards the organization objectives and make their presence felt.
(The author is Co-founder and CEO of MARG, a Bengaluru-based training firm)