Sunday, September 21, 2008

Retention - Best Practices at Great Companies

Even in leaner times, employers must be concerned with retaining their best talent. Highly skilled and capable people will always be attractive to other companies, even when the labor market is weakening as it is in the United States right now.

In a post from May 19th, it was noted that even Google is seeing greater turnover than ever before. While the economics of Google and Silicon Valley may be different than that of most of the country, this points out the value of good talent management and retention strategy. Let's take a quick look at what some other employers in diverse industries are doing.

Fortune Magazine reports that Marriott International , one of the Fortune Top 100 Great Place to Work companies, for 2008 uses a strategy of promoting internally to help retain their best people. This may not be unique, but providing opportunity and visible growth opportunities to your own associates earns loyalty, and gives them a reason to stay.

Boston Consulting Group cites flexibility as a successful strategy. Computerized Facility Integration of Southfield, Michigan cites recognition as one of their key strengths. Whole Foods, of Austin, Texas, another 2008 Top 100 Great company believes that initial talent assessment, or "hiring right" is an important factor. Staying Power of Emeryville, California hires a lot of Gen Y talent, notorious for easy turnover, and utilizes strong communication through a variety of media to stay in touch with their workers.

A summary of the Best Practices:
  • Create opportunity and promote your own talented people first
  • Be flexible in work and personal life, and provide a good balance.
  • Recognize and reward strong performers on a regular basis.
  • Utilize strong talent selection and ensure you are bringing in the best people up front.
  • Communicate with associates about your business goals, your finances, and upcoming projects that will keep them excited.

Clink on the links for more specific information on each company and their strategy.

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