A company’s employees have long been considered the most valuable (collective) asset. All of the financing, marketing, and IT in the world won’t make a difference if employees are not skilled, trained, loyal, etc. This is why employee retention is something always in the back of any company’s mind. That goes double for the most valuable staff at any given company because of Pareto’s Principle, as applied to business, suggests that 80% of production will come from 20% of the employees, aka the most valuable employees. Read on to learn how to avoid top mistakes that companies make to keep valuable, top performing staff.
Not properly funding/budgeting employee retention initiatives is one major mistake that HR consultants see time and time again when looking at why top performing staff leave. For example, it may be time for such an employee to re-negotiate their employment contract and even though the company representatives/management have said they want to retain the employee, they only set aside enough money equivalent to a 1-2% pay raise (or a percentage that is far below industry standard). Some employees will be gone as soon as they receive such a lowball offer and even though others may stick around to negotiate further, they may not stick around until the proper approvals take place to provide more money, such as “just stick with us for 6 more months until our new fiscal year starts and then we’ll handle this.”
Because compensation can mean a lot of different things nowadays, employers need to know what compensation means the most for each individual employee and not have a one-size-fits-all approach. The next mistake is offering a top performer the wrong kind of compensation incentive to stay. Sure there are still many employees who place a high priority on salary when it comes to compensation, but if there are top performers clearly saying they place a higher priority on health benefits, paid time off, or 401k match, for example, then companies should respond accordingly. There are limits of course for each type of compensation and the request coming from the employee, but a company should give itself as much wiggle room as possible regarding red tape/policies.
The discussions involving everything written so far cannot only happen at the executive level of a company. When it does, a company is making yet another mistake. Even if it is not all staff, at least some key staff (below the executive level in a company’s hierarchy) need to be involved in drafting the policies and overall strategy regarding employee retention.