How to Protect Your Business from Talent Flight

Your business may start out small. But that doesn’t mean you want it to stay that way.

In fact, no matter humble your online business’ beginnings, you may well have your sights set on nothing short of total market dominance.

But how will you get from where you are now to the lofty heights that your ambitions dictate? Great products?

Your products may well be the vehicle that propels your business to success. But that’s really just the tip of the iceberg.

Attention-grabbing marketing? Again, this is crucial in engaging your target audience and starting their relationship with your brand. But unless you’re consistently delivering operational excellence, you may be putting the cart before the horse.

Is it your unique vision? Well, that’s certainly your business USP, and what gives it the unique sense of personality that resonates with your customers.

But, unless your business has the right talent behind it, you can’t possibly hope to deliver the outstanding service that keeps customers coming back time after time. And this is essential to business growth.

If you’re not incentivizing customers to keep coming back, your business won’t grow and your cash flow will be uneven, no matter how many new customers you’re able to engage. 

Fortunately, you have an outstanding team of clever, passionate, enthusiastic and highly capable people behind you. But are you doing enough to keep them? Unless you’re looking after their needs holistically, you may find that you experience the phenomenon of talent flight…

What is talent flight?

Talent flight is a phenomenon whereby skilled and talented employees grow understimulated in their work, feel like they could get a better deal elsewhere, and resultantly leave their place of employment. And your loss could be your competitors’ gain.

Not to mention making you ensure the inevitable cost and disruption that high levels of voluntary employee turnover can cause. 

If you hope to succeed in business, you can’t afford to risk losing gifted and passionate employees to your competitors. You need to ensure that your team are with you for the long haul.

This requires a proactive approach. Don’t wait for talent flight to become a problem. Head it off at the pass by taking the following active measures…

Motivate and inspire your team with employee recognition

What motivates your employees? Is it money? Maybe… but never make the mistake of assuming that it’s the only thing that motivates them.

Some may be motivated more by flexitime and the ability to earn paid leave than monetary bonuses or other baubles. Some may want more autonomy or responsibility. 

But one thing virtually all employees want more of is recognition for their efforts.

Employee recognition is intrinsically linked to employee engagement. And whatever your business’ goals, improving engagement should most certainly be a priority.

In fact, over 80% of employees around the world consider themselves not engaged at work or actively disengaged. And when your employees are actively disengaged in their work, you have a talent flight problem waiting to happen. 

The good news is that employee engagement is relatively easy and inexpensive to implement in your organization.

There are a number of employee recognition platforms that allow entrepreneurs and managers to formally recognize, share and celebrate their employees’ achievements.

This can help employees to feel validated and valued. Better still, these platforms also allow employees to use peer-to-peer recognition to buoy one another and celebrate one another’s accomplishments in the workplace. 

These platforms work in much the same way as social media platforms. Helping employees to engage in the workplace rather than distracting them.

Go above and beyond in protecting their health and wellbeing

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Your employees work hard while under your roof. They give willingly of their time and energy.

They probably spend more time with you than they spend with their friends and family. As such, you owe it to them to help them look after their health and wellbeing. 

While you may be mindful of additional overhead costs and how they may impact your cash flow, supporting your employees’ health and wellbeing is the very definition of a capital investment.

It will certainly pale in comparison to how much losing your employees could affect your cash flow. Recruiting, training and onboarding replacement employees is far from cheap.

Ensuring your team have comprehensive insurance is a good place to start, including vision insurance, and dental.

Make sure they have access to healthy food and easy access to drinking water. Make sure they’re encouraged to get out from behind their desks every once in a while, so that their health isn’t compromised by spending all day sitting.  

It’s also important to try and encourage your team to be active, especially if the nature of their work requires them to be sedentary throughout the day.

Setting up partnerships with local gyms, encouraging employees to walk or cycle to work or setting up company sports teams are all great ways to help your team lead an active lifestyle, while also strengthening the friendships between peer groups and ensuring a vibrant team dynamic. 

Ensure that you’re offering competitive compensation

Not all employees are motivated solely by money. But few top-tier candidates will be attracted to a position that pays them less than they can get elsewhere doing the exact same thing.

As much as it’s important to ensure that your team are well looked after in non-monetary terms, you still need to offer a competitive salary.

Again, you can expect this to impact on your cash flow. But great employees will more than pay for themselves by keeping customers coming back time after time. 

Read also: 6 Ways to Make Employees Happy Without a Raise

Listen to them

Finally, one of the most effective yet affordable ways to protect your business from talent flight is to keep your door open.

Listen to their thoughts, ideas, concerns and frustrations. Make sure that you actively encourage employee suggestions. And ensure that they can always come to you when there’s a problem… even if they have a problem with you!