How to Nurture and Keep Employees

Keeping and nurturing top talent can be quite a challenge in today’s volatile and ever-changing job market.

Top employees want a rewarding and satisfying job that stimulates and challenges them. They also want good opportunities for career advancement - and clear paths to promotions. Therefore today’s organisations need to be constantly aware of and able to address their employees’ needs. This also helps ensure top performers are not either ‘head hunted’ by recruitment companies or job agencies; or become bored and uninspired by what the organisation has to offer them.

When nurturing staff it is important to let them know their daily activities are contributing towards a greater purpose, and this why an organisation’s mission, values, and vision are so important. Not only does this nurturing assist companies in keeping their employees - but it also helps save money on recruitment costs should an employee decide to leave. It can also play a big part in achieving a happier and more engaged workforce.

Of course, it makes sense that the more engaged in their job an employee is - the less likely they are to leave or look elsewhere for ‘greener pastures’. This assertion is backed up by a recent US study by Dale Carnegie Training and MSW Research where it was found that out of 1500 employees surveyed, up to 71 per cent displayed some form of disengagement from their job.

The exact figures from the study were:

  • 29 per cent of employees were ‘Engaged’,
  • 45 per cent were ‘Not engaged (or disengaged)’, and
  • 26 per cent were ‘Actively disengaged’.

In the study, some terms were defined -

Job Engagement: Believing in the organisation - and wanting to improve their work and the work of those around them.

Disengaged: Exhibiting little passion for their job and seeing work as merely an exchange of time for a steady pay cheque.

Actively disengaged: Actively disliking their job and making that misery known wherever they went.

This is why it is so important for managers to pay close attention to their employees’ ongoing levels of engagement and commitment to their job. Of course, over time, an employee’s job engagement can alter dramatically, depending on their changing circumstances.  A good way to monitor your employees’ job engagement levels is to conduct regular and thorough performance reviews, which set and track measurable employee goals.

Another is to engage your employees with self-reviews, rate job performance, and take an active interest in employee performance. By doing so you will not only motivate and encourage your employees to become more engaged - but also reap the benefits with a happier, more productive and stable workplace.

Other recent US research shows leadership development opportunities and financial incentives can be a strong incentive for employees to stay in their current jobs longer. Indeed, the study found a lack of leadership development programs was one of the primary reasons many employees sought a new job - particularly if they were ‘Millennials’ or Gen X employees.

Also, if you are a leader in the workplace, the secret to getting people more engaged in their work is for you to become more engaged with them. This means not just discussing their contribution to the organisation. You also need to go ‘out on a limb’ at times to let them know how valuable their contribution to the group is; assuming of course, they are doing a good job!

It is a disturbing fact that even the largest and most sophisticated companies have problems attracting, developing and retaining top talent. And this area remains one of the most difficult that organisations face – particularly in achieving organisational growth.

Hopefully, by applying some of the above ideas to your organisation you will not only increase employee job retention - but also achieve a happier and more productive workforce.