Why is talent management & retention important and how to improve it?

Why is talent management & retention important and how to improve it?

By Chris Ortega, Sr. Finance Manager at Emarsys

People are the most expensive asset but they are vital to running a successful business and delivering value. However, few organizations understand the why talent management and retention is important to their bottom line. Often it is not until their top talent or higher potential/performance leave before organizations realize the importance to talent management and retention.

Before discussing why its important to have effective talent management and retention strategies let us first get some definitions out the way. Talent management is programs, initiatives and proactively developing and shaping your talent. Retention strategies are policies, culture and other internal elements that keeps your talent. Now, let’s explore 3 talent management and retention strategies that are important for every organization and how to improve each of them.

1. Consistent interaction with direct manager

Many employees do not really receive feedback from their direct manager until something is wrong or performance review time. Having a consistent pulse and time with your employees is an effective talent management and retention strategy. Generationally, with millennials consistent feedback and interaction are vital to keeping them engaged and satisfied.  

Also, consistent interaction is a proactive approach in career and talent development. It’s a method to assess employees current learning and potential. One way to improve is having weekly or bi-weekly one on one meetings with your employees. This will keep the lines of communication open and provide more reflection points to shape future conversations.

2. Set consistent objectives and key results that align towards overall company goals

The advantage of objectives and key results is it sets specific alignment on priorities and results that need to be delivered to measure success. One example of a OKR is reducing travel expenses by 10% in 6 months which is the objective. One key result would be delivering monthly travel reports to all managers, which would be a key result driving towards the objective.  Also, the OKR format helps set priorities.  One way to improve is to set yearly or quarterly OKR’s. This helps improve alignment on what are the important and urgent items for your employees and teams. So, if you haven’t tried already try setting 1 – 3 SMART OKR’s for your team.

3. Create a learning and open company culture

The work environment has changed and gone is suit & tie, people staying in jobs for 30 years or giving only new responsibilities to tenured employees. Creating a learning and open company culture is essential for businesses to be successful in the future. Be cautious when you hear the phrase, “We have operated this way for 20 years and been successful so why do we need to change?” This thinking is a sure-fire way to have your talent and recruits less interested in joining your organization. One way to improve is to start being transparent with your employees. For example, start tracking company key performance indicators (KPI) so everyone can see them. However, understand changing company culture and creating a learning environment takes time, consistency and discipline.

In closing, talent management and retention strategies are important elements to be proactive and conversations should be happening at all company levels. These strategies are only effective when they are incorporated through partnership between HR and operational departments. Talent and retention is often a qualitative investment but it produces high returns to employees and overall bottom line performance. Furthermore, my challenge to you is, pause to seek feedback, discuss what your organization can do better and put it to work!

The article was first published in Prevero Blog