You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
Retaining happy and motivated executives is vital to an organization’s success. High employee turnover increases expenses and has a negative impact on employee morale. Implementing an employee retention strategy is an effective way of making sure key employees remain employed while maintaining job performance and productivity. The bad news is that today’s employees are harder to retain. In fact, 60.2% of those who took part in the Bayt.com Employee Retention in the MENA Workplace poll (February 2013) said that, compared to previous generations, employee retention now is lower. Similarly, 76% of respondents stated that employee turnover in their company is ‘high’; with 44.7% saying that it is ‘very high’. But there’s good news too, especially when it comes to senior talent. The Bayt.com Hiring Management in the MENA poll (August 2012) showed that senior executives and management in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are easier to retain than junior employees. This could be because 45% of professionals in those roles see it harder to change jobs as you rise up the career ranks. The aforementioned figures should worry any business owner looking to motivate and retain his top talent. As an employer, a resignation is a hard pill to swallow, especially when it comes from your best employees. So how can companies retain the best and most talented professionals?
A good work-life balance is repeatedly identified as the top motivating factor for professionals in the MENA. Achieving a good work-life balance for your employees could be as simple as altering your work arrangements by including flexible hours, part-time and telecommuting, as well as sabbaticals for long-serving personnel and extended leave periods for new parents. 22.7% of respondents in the Bayt.com Work-Life Balance in the MENA Region poll (September 2012), said a flexitime arrangement with same total hours would be most appealing to them at work, while 10.4% opted for a work-from-home arrangement. Another way to retain top talent would be to pay top salaries. 26.6% of professionals in the MENA region see a competitive salary and benefits package as the most important factor for employee retention. If you have star employees that you don’t want to lose, then you should start thinking of a better compensation strategy. You could give your best employees ‘golden handcuffs’ by paying above market rates and providing incentives for them to be the highest paid employees in their field.
It goes without saying, but we’ll repeat it anyway: good communication is absolutely vital for smooth sailing in a business. While a third of professionals in the Middle East say that they do not feel communication channels in their company are open, one way for you to create open communication between employees and management would be by holding regular meetings with employees and adopting an open door policy that encourages them to speak frankly without fear of repercussion. There’s no communication better than face-to-face communication. The importance of giving regular and constructive feedback to encourage, motivate and guide, cannot be overemphasized. Adopt a comprehensive firm-wide performance appraisal system for formal appraisals and complement that with regular informal face-to-face meetings. The purpose of these meetings should not be to criticize, but to guide, assist, mentor, and coach employees to better performance levels. Regular positive feedback for key accomplishments and contributions is a key criterion for raising employee morale.
Finally, companies should know that employees tend to put more effort into their jobs when they feel valuable to their company. If you invest in your employees and cater to their professional needs, they’re most likely to invest right back in their jobs. According to the Bayt.com Employer Branding in the MENA poll (February 2014), seven in 10 professionals in the Middle East want to work for a company that offers career growth prospects, encourages new ideas, and provides training opportunities.In conclusion, far from being a luxury, retaining talent is an essential commodity in today’s corporation and a measure of organizational welfare that cannot be ignored. Companies that are attuned to this important measure of corporate wellbeing are able to benefit not only from increased productivity, but also from reduced turnover, and higher staff loyalty and commitment.