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How good company culture can retain top talent

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by Charlotte Gurney

Employee turnover is something that every business expects to a certain extent. However, high levels of turnover can indicate that there is an issue - this can also be a very costly problem, one that impacts not just on recruiting expense but also when it comes to general morale and productivity within a team. Retaining your top talent makes a lot of sense for any organization - a high performing member of staff can be 400 times more productive than the average employee. There are a number of different ways in which your company culture might be contributing to whether or not your retention rates are sustainable, especially when it comes to high performers.

A culture that offers opportunities for growth

High performing employees are ambitious - that’s why they’re top talent. If your business doesn’t offer room for professional and personal growth then people may start looking elsewhere for organizations that do. Make sure that you define a clear career trajectory for your workforce so that they can see what to aim for. Sit down and discuss goals for the short and long term and do what you can to accommodate requests for ways in which employees feel they can expand - often, this will benefit the wider business as well as the individual.

Leadership and responsibility

Does your business culture encourage initiative and self-starters or do you micro-manage everyone because you don’t really trust that they can do well on their own? Most ambitious, highly productive people don’t respond well to being closely managed so you need to create space for some independence within your management culture to ensure that they want to stay. This might be in the form of more opportunities to lead teams or take responsibility for projects, for example.

No follow up

When you bring a new employee into the business it’s essential that you follow up on all the incentives they were offered to come on board. Whether you offered financial incentives or specific career opportunities, make sure these become reality and aren’t just the kind of empty promises that could seriously damage the perception staff have of the culture in the business - one where promises aren’t kept so employees don’t feel like they matter.

The question of cash

Most top performers won’t be purely money-motivated but there is no doubt that this makes a difference. Competitive salaries and benefits are essential to retaining staff so it’s vital to make sure that your business is offering a package that stacks up against the competition. Underpaying people can create a culture in which staff feel resentful and undervalued.

Recognition

A company culture built around recognizing the achievements of staff, and the contribution that they make to the overall business, will provide firm foundations for productivity and employee engagement. It’s also essential if you want to keep your top performers - if going above and beyond is never recognized then they will look to go somewhere else where it is.

Alignment

This relates specifically to purpose - when you’re interviewing candidates make sure that their purpose is aligned with the business and not in conflict with it. You can judge candidates by criteria such as skills and experience but if you want to keep the top performers then it’s going to be essential to ensure that they will be able to feel a deep connection to their purpose (and the company’s) every day and aren’t just doing facetime at their desks.

Your company culture has a big role to play in retaining top talent and creating an environment in which all staff can be happy and productive.