Alternative Solutions’ tips on how to retain top talent

How to retain top talent - by Alternative solutions

How to retain top talent. Employee retention is a critical issue as companies compete for top talent in a tight economy. The costs of employee turnover are increasingly high as much as 2.5 times an employee’s salary depending on the role.

It is never good news when a manager receives the resignation of one of his/her best employees. But why do some people consider this an issue? After all, it is so easy to hire someone else. People get hired and fired all the time!

The fact is some employees are just irreplaceable. Managers put in so much effort and time to hire and train their employees but sometimes fail to understand that retaining those employees is more important than anything else.

Businesses must maintain the internal structural integrity of their skilled workforce if they are to remain productive and competitive. Qualified, experienced, high-quality workers are gold to a company. These individuals can even be viewed as positive ROI factors – revenue generators – and when an employee of this caliber leaves a business, detrimental financial, structural, corporate, organizational, and managerial effects can result. Ultimately, it is in the best interest of a company to retain its skilled employees and to be able to anticipate departure.

What is employee retention?

According to Wikipedia, top talent retention refers to the ability of an organization to retain its employees. Employee retention can be represented by a simple statistic (for example, a retention rate of 80% usually indicates that an organization kept 80% of its employees in a given period). However, many consider employee retention as relating to the efforts by which employers attempt to retain the employees in their workforce. In this sense, retention becomes the strategy rather than the outcome.

People come and go to jobs for many reasons, so a certain amount of turnover is normal. Turnover rates vary within different industries and occupations, but one large survey in 2018 by LinkedIn found an overall annual global turnover rate of 10.9 percent.

” A successful business needs consistency in all aspects, employees included. Having a high retention rate means keeping staff members long-term, resulting in less time and resources required for training new staff and having the loyalty needed to run a business.” HR Technologist

Why good employees quit

No particular reason exists why high-quality employees will choose to an establishment, notwithstanding, even as different industries face contrasting turnover rates, the general reasons why employees leave a business boil down to three major categories:

1. Company Culture: A company’s culture can influence a worker’s decision to leave, including the business culture, the way things are done, the corporate atmosphere, and even the vision.

2. Managers: Everything from very aggressive managers to micromanagement tactics can make an employee wish to depart a company, including how management tactically and strategically implements the business vision over time.

3. Employee: Occasionally, an employee may have personal reasons that may influence his/her decision to leave an establishment, such that no external factors are responsible for the decision.

Being in an African setting, these reasons vary a lot. some could be due to diversity. Each African community is so diverse, that it makes it really difficult to conclude some concrete research. Hence the few general reasons which could easily resonate with the African business community.

Strategies for retaining top talent

The Chinese aphorism which says “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” relates perfectly. Need to increase retention rates? You should start at the very beginning of the recruitment process.

1. The recruitment process
As a company, there is a particular culture or mannerism which best describes your identity. This identity should be what you will love to see in an applicant – either through the screening process or the interview proper.
Remember this is a long game, every step needs to be taken right to ensure every candidate you shortlist has that little spark of longevity.

2. The right candidates for the cause
Choosing a candidate who is most likely to stay could be daunting. But there are some key indicators on how you can retain this top talent ( though not 100% accurate). The trick is to read beyond the resume. Have they worked at a company for many years through ups and downs? this could indicate loyalty, moxie, and engagement.

Do they play team sports, have some voluntary service experience, or regular extra-curricular activities? These could indicate their willingness to invest in a cause, a team, a sport, and also have that ethos to stick with something they really care about.
This doesn’t mean if you come across a job hopper he/she will not be the right fit. It will be more challenging to keep such people. But there are also cases of job-hoppers who may just be looking to get the right fit to stick.
Want to find out how to Identify value within Job-hoppers?

3. Have a well-defined career path ready.

Learning is also working, meaning this can’t be an afterthought. This must be the focus of any forward-thinking organization. When a company puts forward the learning culture as a norm, it encourages the employees to also look forward to gaining intellectually, and not only from their pay.
With the demand for new skill sets and evolving roles increasing, it won’t be wise to put someone on a career path without any visible plan for development.

4. The motivation in benefits

How do you attribute your incentives to special achievements? Awards for employees who exceed performance goals or who stay with you for a predetermined time period. Awards for the employee(s) of the week/month. These and more, provide the necessary dynamism which contributes not just to employee retention, but also healthy competition – which in the long run, helps in company growth.

Flexible work schedules, the opportunity to work remotely, and generous paid leave policies also go a long way toward helping employees feel they are valued well beyond what they contribute at the workplace, says’s global head of Human Resources David Hanrahan.

5. Be transparent and open

Need to know how to retain top talent? Avoid trickery in contracts. Companies offering contracts with hidden clauses and sometimes omitting vital information which could put employees in tight spots.
Creating open communication between employees and management can help foster a sense of community and a shared purpose. Regular meetings in which employees can offer ideas and ask questions as well as “open-door policies” that encourage employees to speak frankly with their managers help employees feel they are valued.


There are many other strategies that could be used, but it is important to note that this is not an exact science. Turnover sometimes is inevitable. One could follow all these strategies and still lose great talent. Companies must always be prepared for this eventuality so that when/if it does happen, the blow will be reduced.
Looking to outsource all of this HR gibberish? These experts can help: Alternative Solutions


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