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5 Talent Retention Mistakes to Avoid

Talent retention is a huge challenge in the modern workplace. Here are five of the biggest mistakes we see in practice. Retaining good employees is a challenge for many companies. Here are five mistakes that you'll want to avoid if you want to keep your employees:

  1. Bringing the wrong people into the organisation

  2. Inconsistent feedback and coaching

  3. Lack of training and development

  4. Poor communication and lack of recognition

  5. Unhealthy work environment

Bringing the Wrong People into the Organisation

There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to hiring. As such, one needs to make sure that the process is streamlined and effective in order to keep costs down and find the right employees. It's important to go through every stage in detail and make sure you're not cutting any corners.

The first step to effective talent retention is ensuring that the people you bring in to the organisation are a good fit to their role, the culture and the company’s values. Measuring fit is best accomplished by building an accurate competency profile against which candidates can be compared. Role, company and values fit can be objectively measured via psychometric assessments to get a deep understanding of candidate potential, removing inconsistencies and cognitive biases from the process.

Visit our free, online competency app and start putting together your role profiles

Inconsistent Feedback and Coaching

It can be frustrating for an employee to receive feedback from their leader that doesn't seem to correlate with their goals. If an employee doesn’t know what their goals and deliverables are, it will be tough to work towards them. Regular open and honest feedback between line managers and their employees is important to:

  • Articulate the goals of the role and how they align to the overarching team, department and company objectives

  • Align the employee’s day to day activities with these goals

  • Highlight technical skill strengths and development opportunities

  • Highlight soft skill strengths and development opportunities

  • Discuss longer-term career path possibilities for the individual, either within or beyond the organisation

360-degree feedback is a structured methodology that provides insight into employee performance wins and gaps from multiple perspectives. A 360 perspective provides a clear starting point for effective feedback and goal setting.

Lack of Training and Development

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 69% of employers say that insufficient training and development significantly contribute to higher staff turnover. Ongoing training programs are not only good for morale and talent retention, but they also keep employees up-to-date on the latest industry requirements, skills, and technologies. Ultimately, a high performing organisation needs to invest in the growth of its employees.

Each employee should ideally have an Individual Development Plan (IDP), against which they can track their personal development journey. This journey may be made up of self-led learning, experiential learning and formalised training opportunities.

Poor Communication and Lack of Recognition

Communicating with employees is essential to retain them. Employees want to know they are valued and appreciated by their employers. They need to hear that leadership is working on their behalf. Communication also needs to go both ways, with opportunities for employees not only to listen but to share their own ideas and experiences.

Healthy communication should also extend to regularly sharing the mission and strategy of the business. Where things change, being open and transparent with employees is key to obtaining their buy-in and engagement.

An Unhealthy Work Environment

Unhealthy lifestyles can lead to unhealthy employees, which are detrimental to your company’s performance. One way to mitigate this risk is to offer a range of employee wellness benefits. Employee wellness is even more critical in the era of working from home, where the line between work and personal life is often blurred.

Where employees feel they have resources they can call upon when needed, such as mental health support, they are likely to feel less burnt out and more engaged with the organisation.

Align your Ideal and Actual Company Culture

Once talent leaves, it's often difficult – in terms of time, costs and scarcity - to replace them. It's essential that you create a company culture that is attractive and motivating to staff. To do this, you should align your culture and values to what is actually happening on the ground by measuring management and employee perceptions. This feedback can provide a solid foundation against which changes can be made to improve engagement and ensure talent retention.


Lumenii Talent Partners

Lumenii's team of expert psychologists regularly collaborate to share their ideas and knowledge. The latest case studies, thought leadership, and research.


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