How to retain talent in a competitive market


Vincent van Dijk




As we know, the digital generation is, well, digital. We do everything online, from decorating entire rooms to measuring our sleeping patterns: the possibilities are endless.  In the current job market, things work the same way. There are a lot of options available, the market is back on its feet so the amount of jobs are steadily growing. This means that usually, potential employees have the option to pick whatever they like. But don’t forget, the same goes for your current employees. If they don’t like where they are now, they can easily quit and find a place they do like. How do you prevent that from happening?

We’ll start with something (hopefully) obvious: just because you have signed a contract with a new employee, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to invest in them anymore.  A recent study in the Netherlands by React and Motivaction asked over 1400 Dutch employees what defines their happiness in the workplace. 66% of them said that their working and payment conditions were the most important. The work-life balance comes in second with 62%, and third place is for having nice colleagues, by 58%. So it doesn’t just matter what you put in their contract, and pour into their bank accounts every month.

Why do they leave?

A research by SAP SuccesFactors shows that a lack of trust is the main reason for many employees to quit their contracts prematurely.  If you want people to be dedicated to you, you have to trust them in a few different ways. Below are five fields where friction may occur, and how to avoid them.

1. Ongoing feedback and coaching

More and more employers find out that giving real-time feedback works better than collecting it all and saving it for the periodic appraisal. Giving constructive criticism can help with making adjustments, and on top of that it can reveal that one of your employees is facing a challenge. This shows feedback can work in two very different, but important ways.

2. Offer space for personal development

By making it clear to your employees what their options are within the company, you don’t just create a solid starting point but even more so a long-term perspective. In a job market which is changing constantly, expanding knowledge is a requirement for employees to keep on adjusting to these new conditions. If you don’t invest in personal development, you will quickly learn that there are other companies that do.

3. Create opportunities for growth

This really is a follow-up on the item above. Attracting managers from the outside can be tempting: fresh blood, fresh ideas. However, at the same time it can also be useful to look in-house. You don’t want to see all the experience and knowledge gained within your company, walk out the door.  New isn’t always better.

4. Make sure you value them (in cash)

How do you show your appreciation to your employees? In the working field, appreciation is shown in the form of money. Through sites like glassdoor it has become easy to share salaries and experiences, and with that the black box of payment is slowly opening. Paying a fair wage, is a must.

5. Share succes and knowledge

Employees who feel out of the loop, will act out of the loop. Cooperation also means sharing successes together. This also applies to engaging employees with results and progress.  Your people shouldn’t be on the side: they should know what is going on.

There you have it: a brief summary of the do’s and don’ts of retaining talent. There are a lot of elements that also make a huge difference in hiring the right people, and the way you portray yourself to the outside world. Think design, user experience, and communication the right message to the right people, at the right time. Want to know more? Come over for a cup of coffee with us, we’ll explain it all to you!