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Common Mistakes That Cost Companies Top Talent

Guest Blog Contributed by: Camille Daniels

Every good manager knows that highly skilled workers are key assets, as they can make a huge difference in both day-to-day work and long-term growth. But they’re also quite rare, and it usually takes some searching and a bit of luck to find them. Melissa Mounce, Managing Director of Leadership Talent & Diversity at the private equity firm GTCR, stresses the importance of the talent acquisition process. “It’s not just nice motherhood and apple pie initiatives,” she said on the Big Fish in the Talent Pool podcast. “It’s a critical business function.”


But it’s one thing to hire a skilled worker, and another thing altogether to get them to stay at your company. If you want to boost employee retention, here are four mistakes you need to avoid:


  1. Lack of Effective Communication


Nearly all internal operations hinge on effective communication. Failure to deliver on this can be exhausting on the part of the employee. In particular, new employees might struggle with their deliverables if everything isn’t laid out clearly. A good leader takes the time to sit down with their employees to explain exactly what is expected of them. This ensures that you’re both on the same page, while also minimizing the chance of misinformation or miscommunication within the team.


  1. Not Empathizing with Your Employees


Your employees have lives outside of their jobs, and sometimes, this can get in the way of their performance. Some employees are also caregivers, while others are juggling one or two other jobs. In situations where employees are less than efficient, it’s important to exhibit empathy and mindfulness of their situation. Johannes F. W. Arendt et al., researchers from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Technical University of Munich, found a positive link between a leader’s level of mindfulness, especially in terms of how they communicated it, and their followers’ wellbeing. This was found to improve interpersonal relationships between managers and their employees, and can have a huge effect in bringing out each person’s potential. Remember this the next time one of your workers turns in a report late.


  1. Failure to Recognize Accomplishments


Not recognizing quality work is another mistake that could cost you valuable employees. And though they may not need as much support as other employees do, Dr. Erika Rasure, an assistant professor for Maryville University’s business administration degree program, points out that your high-performing employees would appreciate the occasional recognition — whether it’s a quick email thanking them, a phone call to discuss your appreciation, or a small announcement. This, Rasure says in an interview with Business News Daily, signals to your staff “that you are paying attention and value what they do.” The more your employees feel that you appreciate them and that they are important, the more likely they are to stay.


  1. Not Providing Enough Opportunities for Growth


Blocked opportunities can make employees feel severely limited. This is especially the case for many high-performing employees who always want to challenge themselves. If they find that they aren’t given enough opportunities to hone their skills, they’ll seek opportunities elsewhere. So, it’s your job to provide your entire team with projects that will motivate them and push them to show what they’re capable of.


Steer clear of these four common mistakes, and you’re sure to improve your company retention rate. Remember: Talent acquisition is only the beginning. It’s in talent management where things can get tricky — but also very rewarding.


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