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How to Retain Top Talent: Proactive Strategies for Avoiding Regrettable Employee Losses

group of individuals working on computers in an office
Photo Courtesy of Arlington Research on Unsplash

Employee retention is a hot topic in today's virtual environment. In fact, it's cited as one of the biggest concerns (if not the biggest) in human resources according to several sources including Harvard Business Review and Gartner Research.

And it makes perfect sense. It's hard to compete when your top talent can work literally anywhere from the comfort of their own homes. Add to that, younger generations are vocalizing their needs and are not afraid to walk away if they are not met.

So how can you get ahead of this and retain your top talent before it's too late? We all know that a regrettable loss adds up - from the cost to recruit and hire a replacement, lost productivity, impact to employee morale, and more. Rather than suffer from the loss, here are some helpful aspects to consider to keep that talent (before it's too late).

Offer Competitive Compensation and Benefits: it's important to take care of the people who are taking care of the business. This starts with fundamental offerings like salary and/or bonus, paid time off, healthcare benefits, 401Ks, etc. This also includes other other perks like internet or phone reimbursement, team building budgets, discounts for pet insurance or legal services, wellness programs, etc. By offering a competitive salary, benefits package, and other perks, you are able to demonstrate that the company values its employees and will help them feel secure - both financially and at a personal level.

But let's be honest, throwing more money or perks (or even new titles) toward employees to retain them isn't always the best answer. It can put the rest of the company at a disadvantage, can set that top talent up for failure if not ready yet, and can set the stage for a very transactional relationship between the employee and the organization.

two hands holding a paper heart
Photo Courtesy of Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Create and/or Foster a Supportive and Positive Work Environment: "culture eats strategy for breakfast" is a famous quote by legendary management consultant and writer Peter Drucker. In that, he means that the best intentions will be destroyed if you don't have a culture that can grow and accommodate those intentions. To keep your top talent, you need to ensure that your culture is positive, supportive, and healthy. The fastest way to lose people is through a toxic leader and work environment, yet most people leave their role because of that exact thing.

As you consider the culture that you have today and how it will support your team members, be sure to pay attention to factors like fostering a sense of belonging, offering opportunities for growth, and having strong leadership. Employees want to work somewhere that they feel appreciated and see greater potential so it is important to prioritize well-being, provide recognition for achievements, and encourage open communication to keep and/or enhance that culture.

Provide Development and Growth Opportunities: the vast majority of employees, especially the top talent that you want to retain, need to feel challenged and have a clear path for advancement to stay motivated, inspired, and certainly to stay the course. One might say that this is the easiest of the three aspects to ensure employee retention because there are many pathways to this need. This can include skill development through training programs, mentorship, clear career progression plans, leadership and soft skills development through training programs or even coaching. These pathways can be offered to individuals, small groups, or even the entire organization and they quickly demonstrate the company's investment in its workforce - and more importantly the fact that the company cares about them. This will not only keep them engaged, but will create a greater sense of loyalty and will improve the quality of the work and overall success.

Black background with white letters reading "you didn't come this far to only come this far"
Photo Courtesy of Drew Beamer on Unsplash

As you explore your employee retention plans, be sure to consider your team and proactively work to meet them with these things, especially their development pathway. If you get wind that they are a flight risk, you may already be too late. It's critical to get ahead of it and stay ahead of it for their benefit and yours.


At WeInspireWe, we believe that the best way to lead is authentically and that includes understanding the needs of the individuals, the teams, and the organization as a whole. We know that 1:1 coaching, group and team coaching, leadership training and development, career path planning, and both technical and soft skills development are critical for the success of your employees.

Employee retention is not an easy thing so we are pleased to offer a FREE Employee Success Blueprint to support your planning and intention-setting to ensure the best paths to success for all. Schedule your free strategy session today to learn more.


Tami Chapek, CEO and Founder, WeInspireWe, sitting on a bar stool in black pants, black jacket and a blue blouse, smiling at the camera
Tami Chapek, CEO and Founder, WeInspireWe

Tami Chapek is the CEO, Founder and Head Coach at WeInspireWe. Tami believes in community and positive change and has dedicated her life to bringing these concepts together. By empowering one, we empower many - and she believes that answer starts within.


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