The Frequency

What it Takes to Keep Top Talent

What it Takes to Keep Top Talent: 12 Areas of Focus

What is one area to focus on to retain your company’s top talent?


To help you retain your company’s top talents, we asked HR professionals and business leaders this question for their best methods. From providing opt-in team building events to asking the tough question, there are several strategies that will help people want to stick with your company long-term.


Here are 12 ideas for retaining top company talent:

  • Provide Opt-In Team Building Events
  • Build Better Relationships with Managers
  • Recognize & Reward Employee Milestones
  • Define a Clear Path Upward
  • Let Talent Grow & Develop Within your Workplace
  • Promote from Within
  • Meet their Contributions with Comparable Benefits
  • Collect & React to Feedback
  • Offer Flexible Schedules & Work Models
  • Invest in Talent Autonomy to Work on Projects They Enjoy
  • Adjust Recruiting Process to Attract Diverse Talent
  • Ask the Tough Questions


Provide Opt-In Team Building Events

Not to generalize, but from my observation as the head of a recruiting firm, employees who are on good terms with their coworkers are more likely to stay with a company longer. As long as they don’t feel forced, team-building activities work well in helping colleagues bond with each other. Casual dine-outs, game nights, and celebrating achievements together can foster a sense of community among your employees and make them feel like they belong.

It’s essential not to mandate attendance for these activities, though; instead, be creative and make these events interesting enough that the majority of your employees would prefer to attend. Such initiatives, besides improving employee retention rates, enrich your company’s culture, enable better collaboration and overall productivity, and help attract fresh talent to your organization.

Anjela Mangrum, Mangrum Career Solutions


Build Better Relationships with Managers

A top reason great talent leaves a company is because they don’t have a meaningful relationship with their manager. They don’t have to spend hours of time together, but people want to be able to connect with the person leading them. Make sure you invest in training and tools that make your managers better leaders. Support managers in having consistent one on ones, setting priorities, and providing ongoing coaching sessions. This focus will help retain your top talent because they’ll feel content, engaged, and seen.

Logan Mallory, Motivosity


Recognize & Reward Employee Milestones

Recognizing and rewarding accomplishments and milestones is an effective strategy to retain top talents. Monetary bonuses are always nice, but recognition plays a key role too. When employees feel that their work impacts the company positively, they have clear objectives and purpose, and the company appreciates their work and commitment, they feel more motivated, satisfied, and generally happy. This positive attitude will make them stay longer within a company.

Natalia Brzezinska, PhotoAiD


Define a Clear Path Upward

We have had many employees express that they don’t see a path towards a more senior position. It’s very important to provide clear direction and goals for pay raises and promotions. This might require creating “middle management” positions simply to create a place to move quality talent. It might always not seem necessary, but the cost of trying to find new talent to replace people that might leave is always much greater.

David Wachs, Handwrytten


Let Talent Grow & Develop Within your Workplace

Top talent needs to know that your company will be a place for them to grow and develop. They’ll find another place to work if you keep them doing the same thing without letting their position evolve. So make sure that the current positions have room for promotion and skill development. It’s essential that the talent sees themselves as part of the company and not just someone who works at the company. The talent will perform better if they see a future at the company, and they will see a future if they see themselves growing and developing there.

Aikyna Finch, Finch and Associates, LLC


Promote from Within

Chances are that you have a number of employees who are qualified to fill various positions within your company and have been working for years in hopes of getting a promotion, raise, management position, etc. Provide your employees with clear direction and expectations for growth. Work with them to understand how they are working towards their goals. Hiring from outside of your company is a necessity at times, but whenever possible, promote from within to help motivate and retain your top talent.

Datha Santomieri, Steadily


Meet their Contributions with Comparable Benefits

It goes without saying that employees are likely to stay where they are appreciated and valued. There are many ways to express this appreciation as a company. One of the best things you can do is to provide benefits like flexible timings, incentives, bonuses, personalized subscriptions and more that work to the employees’ advantage and are hard to walk away from. This way, you’re not only retaining talent, but also ensuring that they’re satisfied on all fronts.

Igal Rubinshtein, Home Essentials Direct


Collect & React to Feedback

A business’s ability to react to employee needs can be a big incentive for talent to stay around. Employers should consider initiating a strong check-in and feedback system within their company. By collecting feedback and checking in on employees, businesses are better able to understand and respond to the needs of their employees.

For example, employers may consider expanding health insurance benefits to family members if employees name that as a concern while collecting feedback. Create a range of questions both specific and open-ended, and poll employees at regular intervals to keep their data up to date. Even if a company can’t react immediately, your skilled professionals will appreciate knowing their concerns are being heard.

Caleb Ulffers, Haven Athletic


Offer Flexible Schedules & Work Models

With a large number of workers still completing their daily tasks from home, job flexibility is of top importance when candidates go hunting for new opportunities. This is why it’s important for leaders to take a hard look at their work models, and ensure that they offer the independence that many job seekers are now looking for. Many companies often settle on a hybrid model, which includes working both remotely and in-office on selected days.

Mark Sider, Greater Than


Invest in Talent Autonomy to Work on Projects They Enjoy

Encourage your talent to grow. It is a best practice to challenge employees to increase their craft while giving them autonomy to work on things that they enjoy. By creating a collaborative environment where people can encourage each other, talent will feel appreciated and challenged to grow. This will both improve the talent at the company as well as promote company loyalty with team members who feel the company has their interests in mind. Retain your talent by investing in them.

Zachary Hamed, Clay


Adjust Recruiting Process to Attract Diverse Talent

With a candidate-driven market compounding the “Great Resignation”, the need to retain top talent is more pressing than ever. Nevertheless, there is a surefire way to retain talent across industries: focus on the recruiting process. More specifically, focus on recruiting more women.

In a recent article, Atta Tarki and Arvid Malm argue that hiring more women is a great way to diversify perspectives in your organization and ensure that your talent sticks around. The authors cite a working NBER paper that posits the rise of job-hopping to be primarily a male phenomenon: “the share of females in managerial, technical, or other professional positions aged 40-64 who have been with the same employer for 20 years or more has increased by nearly 5 percentage points since the 1980s. During the same period, the same share for men fell by 10 percentage points.” 

As result, one tactic that employers can use to retain talent is simply to hire those that stick around in the first place: Women.

Tony Topoleski, ECA Partners


Ask the Tough Questions

I remember being brought into an organization to help transform their 26-person team. As I got to know the team and started building trust, I met with everyone to ask them the same questions. These questions were intended to gather information about what they were happy about and what was frustrating to them regarding workflow, processes, and communication. And I shared the questions with them before our one-on-one meeting.

One question I asked was, “What has given you or would give you cause, reason, or concern to actively start looking for a new position and ultimately leave the organization?” The answers I received informed several decisions, including what was specifically bothering the team and determining if there was a viable solution to change that issue. As a leader, it was vital for me to build a transformative plan to help address retention when possible. Remember, if you ask the questions, you must be prepared for the answers.

John Neral, John Neral Coaching, LLC



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