10 “S” Practices to Attracting and Retaining Talent


The world is changing, are you? Leadership in today’s world means the ability to adapt quickly to the changing dynamics of the markets and constituents you serve. Additionally, employees now have more options for their career than ever before, and the need to find good talent and keep it are a must for any successful and growth-oriented company.

Whether or not your talent is leaving, the world is moving and changing and talent retention is now in our focus. These are 10 current trends and employee practices that are no longer negotiable. Find ways to implement each of these to maintain team members and business development.

1. Structure – look at the current structure of your roles and define whether it takes years to get promoted to a new job title. The nature of the current workforce is the desire to learn, grow and develop into new job titles that show progression and pay increases to match. Many companies are creating additional job titles within one pay grade to match the desired need to show growth and forward momentum.

2. Salary – don’t wait until an employee leaves or is being recruited to address pay. If you have people who are sought after in this job market, consider salary adjustments to match current market demands. The average cost of recruiting and replacing staff can range from $4k – $300k depending on the job and impact.

3. Stay Interviews – Have individual meetings with your team members to define what is working and what one thing you can add or change to make the work even better. Ask them if they were in your position, what are the top three things to focus on to not only improve the work environment, but the company. After the interviews, develop a priority list of changes and recommendations and begin to implement them. Share regular communication and appreciation for the feedback and input on the progress made.

4. Skip Level Meetings – Meet with the individuals who report to your management team. Ask them what works well in their teams and what could be changed to better support them in achieving the company goals. Ask them about their personal growth goals and what they would like to learn next. Ask them what one change could make their job amazing. Keep a pulse on the team to ensure conversations are open, fluid, and good change is made.

5. Synergy – identify the kinds of employee events and benefits that create good company synergy and momentum. Validate what is important to your employees. Create options for the different needs of your team members. Explore what other companies are doing to remain competitive in today’s world and assess how you could do the same or come up with different options to retain and attract employees.

6. Scheduling – consider how you can flex the work schedule to provide more options for employees to choose from. Could you offer a four-day workweek? Is it possible to offer remote? Might you offer part-time at home and part-time at the office? What might seem hard to do, could mean a huge benefit to others.

7. Scholarship – offer opportunities for ongoing learning by investing in your employees. Provide development for managers to have the core skills to be excellent in their roles and create great teams, give your managers the leadership skills necessary to move the team and the company forward, provide executive coaching to continue the advancement of key leaders, provide certificates as they move from apprentice to subject matter expert, and invest in additional technical training to advance the skills of your team. For a cost-effective and proven way to level up your team, connect to the programs at www.synthesisleader.com.

8. Shake It Up – provide opportunities to work on different teams, support the community, brainstorm new solutions to old problems, assign mentors, have cookouts, celebrate achievements, notice what is going well, and reinforce it.

9. Shore Up – provide your managers with training, support, and positive reinforcement while they keep their teams highly motivated and productive. Teach your managers to be goal-focused and outcome-driven vs. micromanagers. If people are not thriving under one manager, partner with the manager and develop them to be better for the team.

10. Sand Trap – don’t keep your head in the sand. Your people provide the service/product to the people who buy it. Take care of your people and they tend to take care of your customers. Stay aware of the trends and your employee environment to be a step ahead of the needs of your team. If your company has huge goals you are working on, don’t be afraid to make employee retention as equally as important as your strategic initiatives. It will keep you strong, agile, productive, and a leader in your market.

Take a temperature check on your environment to see if your team is feeling appreciated and acknowledged in all ways. If you create an environment of trust, respect, support, and open communication, you will find the information you need to be agile and strong internally in your company to compete well externally in the marketplace.