Four strategies for companies to retain talented employees

It is important for employers to organise team meetings, celebrate achievements, encourage open communication and prioritise mental health

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Covid-19 spearheaded the “Great Resignation” — a term coined in May 2021 that describes the record number of people who have been leaving their jobs since the start of the pandemic.

But why are so many employees resigning? Simply put, it is not enough for employers to just increase salaries any more.

A PWC report in March found that 20 per cent of 52,000 employees surveyed globally plan to quit their jobs this year, citing “unfulfilment” as a key factor, while 69 per cent picked “fulfilment” as an “extremely” or “very” important factor when they were considering changing jobs.

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To localise this number, recruitment company Hays conducted a recent survey that showed 56 per cent of employees in the UAE expect to have changed their jobs by the end of this year.

This means that organisations across industries must recognise the need to keep their employees engaged and connected with the workplace and have a sense of belonging.

If you are an employer, below are four easy-to-execute suggestions to retain talented employees, keep them ambitious and maximise profit margins.

Organise team huddles

Organising weekly team huddles is one way to create a connected workforce.

I learnt this exercise from the book Mastering the Rockefeller Habits and have seen such success that I use it wherever I can.

It is not only a chance for your team to discuss achievements and challenges, align on pending tasks and client deliverables, and set departmental and company goals, but also promotes a culture of unity and teamwork to work towards organisational success.

Such huddles also allow you to collectively remind the team of the targets and what to focus on to make sure they are on the right path to achieve them.

The numbers speak for themselves. Research by US-based company Great Results Team Building shows that teams with connected employees report an assortment of benefits, including a productivity spike of between 20 per cent and 25 per cent, and a 21 per cent increase in profitability.

Celebrate every win

Unfulfilled employees often avoid tasks outside their job description and are unwilling to go above and beyond the scope of what they were hired to do.

This is known as “quiet quitting” and it is a term that has had a lot of press recently. So, how do you tackle this?

By creating a culture of celebration and acknowledgement within your organisation, you can inspire employees to achieve their targets and go above and beyond their scope.

When you are celebrating individual, departmental and organisational achievements, you are creating a sense of winning as a team and this excites people.

Encourage open communication

Our professional lives take up a large majority of our week and we often forget that we are all going through the human experience and need to respect one another.

Having open communication encourages the understanding that we are all human and have a life outside work.

This serves two purposes; the first being it allows the space for everyone to be themselves and be able to share if they are going through struggles of any kind so that a support system can be created.

The second is offering employees a platform to discuss if they are feeling overwhelmed or unable to perform a task so that support can be provided through mentoring, coaching or training for them to feel equipped to perform their best.

As a leader, I believe it is essential to also share your struggles with your team to assure them that you are no different from them.

You have your own set of challenges and may not have all the answers for a given problem but collectively, a solution can be found and the right support provided.

By sharing, you are leading by example and showing your team that it is OK to voice your struggles.

Prioritise mental health

Don’t take your employees for granted. Show them that you care about them as people, as much as you care about the work they do.

Be flexible to accommodate urgent needs and show them you support what they prioritise in their lives.

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When you have busy periods at work, show your employees that you prioritise their mental health by ensuring that they all take breaks during the work day and have a space to step away to a quiet room or outside the office so they can come back refreshed and continue their work efficiently.

Remember, people leave companies when they feel they are not acknowledged, stagnant or don’t see a bright future.

As an employer, it is your job to create a work environment of respect and healthy boundaries so that your employees will want to stay.

Do everything you can to make where you work a desirable, happy and productive space for everyone because happiness truly is profitable.

Niousha Ehsan is the chief energy officer of LINKVIVA.

Updated: November 07, 2022, 5:08 AM
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