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03 Sep 2015

How to Retain Staff When Top Talent Is Leaving

A company’s biggest asset is its workforce. As difficult as it is to hire top talent, it is even harder to retain them. There are several reasons why a high performing employee leaves a company. Factors such as low appreciation, unsuitable reward and recognition schemes, poor executive management, constant upheavals in organisational hierarchy, lack of work-life balance, motivation deficiency and unattractive compensation packages result in high employee attrition rates, even in some of the most established companies across Australia.


According to the latest Hay Group Report, 58% of Australia’s total workforce is not keen to stay in their current positions for more than five years. As labour market conditions improve, talent exodus becomes a glaring reality, preventing most companies from retaining their top performing employees.


Here are five most effective ways in which a company can retain staff when top talent is leaving:


  • Suitable Reward & Recognition: Companies aspiring to retain top talent must be aware of the factors that motivate their workforce. While financial rewards are always a safe bet to keep employees motivated and interested in staying on, there are several other measures that can help businesses slash their employee attrition rates. A mid-term promotion, a gift voucher or extra paid leaves based on stellar individual performance go a long way in ensuring that employees are recognized for their achievements and appreciated for their efforts. Lack of such reward and recognition schemes most likely make staff members look for better job opportunities.


  • Efficient & Inspiring Management: “People do not leave jobs. They leave Managers”. No matter how creatively satisfying a job is, or how well it pays, if employees are not happy with their Managers or do not get along well with them, they will soon lose interest in their jobs, become less productive and start hunting for openings in other companies. Efficient and inspiring Managers lead by example. They are easily approachable, appreciate good efforts, respect every individual in the team and inspire loyalty. They communicate with their teams on a regular basis and with great empathy, share responsibilities and keep all members highly motivated.


  • Work – Life Balance: An employee should feel happy to come to work every morning. Overloading employees with more work than they can handle eventually stresses them out. Holding employees back after work hours on a regular basis can breed frustration and affect their productivity and performance. Allowing flexible work hours, giving extra pay for extra work hours logged, granting sporadic leaves as compensation for spending extra time at the office to meet critical deadlines or taking the staff on leisure outings are a few simple measures that help top talent to maintain a good work-life balance and prevent them from burning out.


  • Constant Executive Leadership: Frequent changes in the company hierarchy, especially at the top level management, makes employees doubt the business’ stability and question the capability of its leaders. When employees see executive managers being laid off or transferred to other departments randomly, they feel insecure and uncertain about their own positions and start looking elsewhere for more permanent job assurance.


  • Attractive Compensation Packages: Ultimately, it all boils down to the annual Cost to Company (CTC). Employees want to get paid according to their individual work experience, qualifications and market value. They do not mind working a few extra hours if their efforts are ‘paid off’… literally. Attractive compensation packages, coupled with annual bonuses and other allowances that are at par with industry standards keep top talent hooked and motivated. Employee turnover is most affected when people leave their jobs for better pay packages at other companies.   Moreover, the cost of replacing a staff member is also very high for companies too!




Any company that can implement these simple measures to retain staff when top talent is leaving, is not only successful in keeping attrition rate low but also in establishing a good employer brand name for itself in a cut-throat job market.

                                                   DAVID JACKSON

                                                                                    Managing Director 

                                                                             S2M Digital Recruitment


A true entrepreneur and visionary, David’s reputation is built on his legendary energy and genuine passion. His unparalleled success in matching client briefs with the very best talent on offer flows directly from the quality of his deep, rich, professional relationships and his ability as a communicator. S2M’s position, as the home of leaders and innovators, is testament to David’s own relentless innovation and engaging leadership.

Looking to hire top talent to fill in a permanent, temporary or contractual vacancy at your company? Visit www.s2m.com.au today!


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