Is it possible to keep your brightest team players from moving on? Yes, if you focus on growth. Here's how to do it sustainably — and with a people-centered focus.
The floodgates have opened for talented professionals. Now that the Great Resignation is alleviating people's fears of becoming "job jumpers," high performers are seeking greener pastures. But this doesn't mean that your company can't hold onto your best employees — you just have to win their loyalty.
One of the best ways to do this is to focus on your corporate growth. How does growing your business, brand and revenue help you reduce turnover? According to Ceridian's "2022 Pulse of Talent" report, 30% of active job seekers say they are looking for new roles due to a lack of growth opportunities at their current jobs. Almost 20% say it's because their work doesn't align with their skills.
A lot of workers want their skill sets to be identified, molded and honed. They want to be immersed in a company that sees them as part of the solution today and tomorrow. By scaling your business, you can satisfy all these employee desires. As you grow, you'll have more money to invest in training, more positions and roles to offer talented workers and more chances to create a culture that makes people want to stick around for the long term.
Of course, growth won't happen overnight. It won't happen by accident, either. To increase your corporate profits and provide team members with the opportunities and encouragement they're craving, you'll need to make intentional changes. Here are three steps to get you started.
1. Empower top talent to think like entrepreneurs
As a founder, you know what it's like to be an entrepreneur. You've had to innovate, facilitate and advocate for yourself and your business to get where you are. Do your other team members have the same experiences? Only 16% of adults in the U.S. could be considered entrepreneurs, according to Babson College research. However, your employees (and company) could benefit from adopting an entrepreneurial mindset.
To drive growth and simultaneously reward top achievers, ask key players to help you overcome obstacles and problems standing in the way of growth. Empower them to devise creative solutions. You might even want to authorize them to take steps forward without asking, such as by building a product prototype or working with marketing to attract untapped audiences. Google, for example, encourages employees to spend 20% of their time on what they think would most benefit the company.
Just make sure you offer a soft landing for any ventures that don't pan out. Giving your employees permission to experiment and then pulling away the safety net when they don't succeed isn't fair. When workers feel like they can flex their entrepreneurial mindset, they tend to be more adaptable, more innovative and less stressed. Plus, they'll be more apt to go the extra mile for your company, which can prompt faster growth.
2. Paint a clear vision of what's down the road and around the bend
To maintain your best team members and propel your company toward growth, you have to show your team where you're going. Never assume that workers have read your annual business plans or that they can somehow read your mind. Employees won't know your chosen direction until you tell them.
This puts the onus on you and the rest of your leadership team to lay out company goals for employees. You'll need to go one step further, though. In addition to describing your plan, illustrate how every person can contribute to it. Be as specific as possible so your teams can see where they fit in.
When people feel valued, they'll think twice before leaving. They might also feel more energized because of their sense of belonging. Throughout 2021, Gallup noted a drop in employee engagement. Providing a business roadmap can help stimulate the mental excitement your employees might be missing. At the same time, your purpose-driven team members will be more likely to want your business to grow — and to contribute to that growth.
3. Promote from within when possible
When your business promotes from within and is on a growth trajectory, talented employees know it. They realize that they might just be months away from landing their next role or fulfilling their career path dreams. As such, they'll be less likely to reach out to recruiters.
Although business growth might open up promotion opportunities, you'll also want to reimagine how every employee can contribute to your company's success and scalability. For example, you could reconfigure a role to utilize someone's unique skill set. Case in point: You could pay your best cold caller more and also put them in charge of training other sales team members.
Promoting internally and moving people around creates closer connections in your workforce. Employees will get to know each other and form bonds. Just be certain that you're coaching everyone appropriately and educating your managers on how to mentor their strongest team members. A case study by Together found that employees who took part in a company mentorship program were almost 50% less likely to leave the organization.
Sometimes, business growth means bringing on new talent. That's understandable. Just be sure that you focus on retaining as many high performers as possible. If you don't provide top talent with the career and development opportunities they're looking for, then you'll find yourself back where you started.
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