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CareersAccording to a study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the estimated cost of losing a talented employee is 150% of his/her annual salary and includes recruiting, interviewing, hiring, training and lost productivity costs. Therefore, employee retention has become a top priority for many organisations.

Here are some strategies to help retain your organisation’s talent:

Avoid unnecessary layoffs. Reducing an organisation’s expenses by carrying out layoffs can be counterproductive in the long-run because it leads to job insecurity among the remaining employees, who may start to look for other options. Layoffs should be carried out with prudence and only when the organisation is facing a financial crisis or in dire need to restructure.

Match the person to the job. Understand the employee’s experience, skills, abilities, interests and passion and find the right job within the organisation for him/her. By doing so, organisations will benefit from higher levels of employee engagement, productivity and retention. 

Encourage career advancement. A good job entails more than a good salary and benefits. Employees want growth opportunities and a lack of career advancement is a major reason why people leave organisations. Managers must map a path of career advancement for their employees. This includes giving them meaningful assignments, promotions, changing the scope of their work, providing continuous learning opportunities and international placements if possible.

Be a mentor. It is often said that “people don’t leave organisations, they leave managers”. Managers need to engage employees by coaching and mentoring, creating opportunities and appreciating them; organisations with such a culture tend to have higher employee retention rates.

Create an amicable work environment. The organisational culture, company policies and procedures directly impact employee performance and retention. Organisations that encourage talent, allow employees to have a work life balance, are flexible and maintain a harassment-free work environment, free of discrimination, generally experience a low turnover rate.

– Zeeshan Lakhpaty

The writer is a professional corporate trainer.

First published in the Careers Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on January 12, 2014.