Analyzing Strategy: 14 Steps To Retain Top Talent

Employee turnover can be a major challenge for organizations of all sizes and industries. When an organization is losing a significant amount of its top talent, it's important for leaders to take action and analyze their talent acquisition and retention strategies. By doing so, they can identify areas for improvement and take steps to attract and retain top talent.

Here, 14 Forbes Business Council members share the first steps leaders should take when analyzing their talent acquisition and retention strategy to ensure they are building a strong and sustainable workforce.

1. Motivate And Recognize Employees
Staff turnover depends on many factors, but mostly on the work environment and conditions. Employees feel comfortable when the company supports them in achieving their professional goals and when they share the brand's values. Engage your top talent in tasks that affect their work and the leadership of the company. Key employees will never lose motivation if they see their efforts are recognized and rewarded. - Egor Kirin, Agro.Club Inc.

2. Use Feedback To Guide Your Decision Making
Conduct an assessment of your current talent acquisition and retention strategies. Gather feedback from employees and exit interviews, analyze turnover rates and identify areas for improvement. By understanding the root causes of talent loss, leaders can create targeted action plans to address issues and foster a more attractive and supportive workplace environment. - Bryan Jakovcic, Fusion Health

3. Offer The Right Compensation
Our talent (faculty and staff) can often make higher salaries in the industry, so we analyze our ecosystem to highlight other tangible and intangible compensation. Those include the substantial financial benefit of free tuition for employees and families. Our work environment is highly flexible, mission-driven, collegial and vibrant. The impact on individuals and the future is unsurpassed. - Gregory Crawford, Miami University

4. Look At Exit Interview Data
If you have data from exit interviews, analyze it. If you don't have that data, try to start getting it. You can't make strategic decisions without the data to make them sound, so you need to find out why people are staying just as much as why they are leaving. Conduct anonymous surveys or engage an expert to gather and analyze data for you. - Kristen Donnelly, Abbey Research

5. Do An Internal Assessment
The first step is conducting an internal assessment of your current talent acquisition and retention strategy, identifying areas of weakness and gathering feedback from current and former employees. This will help employers understand the root causes of turnover and develop targeted solutions to address the issue. - Salvador Ordorica, The Spanish Group LLC

6. Hire Those That Can Teach
Hire talent that knows how to train their replacements. This involves finding individuals who have confidence in their abilities and can communicate or teach so that others can replicate their results. If prospective team members don’t possess this crucial skill set, even if they’re “rock stars,” think twice before you bring them on board as they're sure to create problems in the future. - Dr. David Lenihan, Tiber Health

7. Find The Root Of The Problem
Hiring and keeping employees happy and productive in today’s marketplace is imperative. When an employee leaves, find out the root cause. To ensure retention, you must develop a clear career path and ensure that the candidate has the right attitude and leadership skills to align with the values of your company. - Francisco Ramirez, The ACE Group (TAG)

8. Be A Caring Employer
Always offer an above-industry salary range, support staff in their difficult times and ensure you recognize and appreciate them whenever they contribute something significant. Offer perks and incentives in regular intervals, avoid micromanaging and give more flexibility in work hours. - Raj Maddula, Global Squirrels

9. Understand Your Team With Quantitative Data
Start with your quantitative data to understand what teams and areas of the business are most impacted. You need to look to see if the issue is with a specific demographic, team or manager. You should also benchmark your total compensation to ensure you are at "market" for your industry. Then, using an engagement survey can identify more qualitative (but critical) aspects of employee sentiment. - Jason Murray, Fringe

10. Reflect Inward
Employees don't leave companies; they leave poor managers and bad cultures. Therefore, determining where the turnover is coming from—whether it's a specific department or systemic—is important. Be willing to look in the mirror. Conduct exit interviews to learn why employees are leaving so you can prevent it from happening. - Adam Povlitz, Anago Cleaning Systems

11. Survey Employees
Leaders should conduct an employee feedback survey to identify reasons for high turnover rates. Based on feedback, leaders can improve compensation, benefits, training, management practices and workplace culture. To attract top talent, promote the company's brand, offer competitive compensation and create a positive candidate experience. - Zeynep "Z" Ekemen, Silver Defender

12. Create Opportunities For Your Talent
When employees feel secure in their career path, you increase the likelihood that they'll remain loyal. Leaders must examine their culture of support and trust. If your employees don't see opportunities for growth or advancement, they'll look elsewhere regardless of perks or salary. Treat employees fairly and equally as they will apply for open roles, learn new skills or take on projects. - Chris McGrath, Esteemed Inc.

13. Be Flexible And Fair
Businesses tend to focus a lot on talent acquisition and not so much on retention, which is arguably more important for long-term success. Fair salaries, benefits and rewards should be a given so they are no longer what talent stays around for. Where I'd look first is workplace culture, flexibility and the quality of communication managers provide. This is what makes the difference in today’s world. - Sal Pazhoor, Naztec International Group LLC

14. Don't Assume You Have The Answer
Stop assuming you know why and listen to understand why. In a busy world, it’s easy to rationalize the loss of top talent with a host of excuses, such as personal reasons or better opportunities than accepting there's a fundamental issue. Too many superficial reasons likely mask a culture or leadership problem. Take the time for self-reflection and honest one-on-one meetings. If you hear the truth, treat it as a gift. - Nuala Walsh, MindEquity