The secret to retaining top talent to ensure your business will thrive
Modern workers are job hoppers, with 38pc of Millennials – aged 27 to 37 – planning to switch roles within two years, according to a study this year by Deloitte. Yet replacing staff is an expensive business, with workplace expert Acas estimating that it costs an average of £30,000 to replace an employee.
To help reduce staff turnover, Craig Donaldson, chief executive of challenger bank MetroBank, recommends hiring people whose attitude meshes well with your organisation – and worry about training them later. “From the outset, hire people who align to your organisation’s culture, then train them to build on the skills they need to succeed in their role,” he says.
“At Metro Bank, we look for people who have a real passion for customer service and then we heavily invest in them through our in-house training facility, Metro Bank University, which offers hundreds of face-to-face and e-learning courses.”
Kirstin Furber, people director of BBC Worldwide, believes that business leaders should get back to basics if they want to hold on to their star performers: “Saying thank you and acknowledging hard work is essential,” she says. “People have different strengths, and these may vary across generations, but one thing we all have in common is that we want our best work to be recognised.”
Promoting internally is also crucial to retaining top talent, according to Donaldson. “All our people have access to learning journeys, which shows them step-by-step what they need to do to progress in their career,” he says. “This meant that last year, we were able to promote over 25pc of our colleagues with more than one year of service.”
At The Telegraph Festival of Business, taking place in London on November 7, Furber and Donaldson will be joining a top panel to share their tips for spotting, motivating and retaining their best people. Other speakers include: Mary Portas, Lady Michelle Mone, Helena Morrissey, Legal & General Investment Management, James Daunt, Waterstones, Chris Morling, money.co.uk and The Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP, Secretary of State for International Trade.
The Telegraph Festival of Business is Britain’s leading event for entrepreneurs and mid-size business leaders. We tapped into this national network to find out their tips for retaining star performers.
Rich Mayson, co-founder of recruitment specialist 3DV, warns against promoting staff into positions they can’t handle. “Don’t promote technical experts to leadership positions unless they have a convincing ability for leadership – it’s the kiss of death.”
He also believes that staff need more than just money to keep them happy. “Only 20pc of people are truly motivated by money alone,” he says. “Most people want opportunity, freedom and recognition – all of which are free to give.”
Sanjay Aggarwal, co-founder of artisanal spice and tea company Spice Kitchen, agrees: “Finding out what motivates them is key,” he says. “Incentivise them based on that, not what you think they want. Also involve them in decision-making.”
Matt Lane, founder of beer subscription service BeerBods, keeps it simple with three tips for retaining your talent: “1. Shares 2. Autonomy 3. Work life balance.”
Several other entrepreneurs all stressed that training can help staff develop professionally, even if they have been at the same company for years. Coaches – both personal and professional – can help meet the mental health needs of your staff, while away days also promote team bonding.
Are you doing enough to keep your team happy?
For more insights on retaining top talent, and the opportunity to ask questions and talk about your own experiences, join us on November 7 at The Telegraph Festival of Business in London for our panel session: “Talent: attracting, recruiting and retaining your most valuable asset”. You can register your place to attend here.