Let’s Talk…Retention


There is a new generation taking over the workforce and keeping them in the same job for a long period of time can be challenging. Being able to retain talent is important not only financially but also for the general culture of your business. Being able to keep talent requires an excellent employment process from the beginning. 

Dynamic Business asked experts what strategy helped them retain talent in their business?

Rafael Moyano, CEO, The Adecco Group:

The key to staff retention is ensuring employees remain challenged and motivated, The opportunity to embark on a variety of projects and formal training can go a long way to instilling a sense of progress.

Having open discussions with employees will help to build their purpose at work and identify ways to progress career development. Regular catch ups should be in place across the board, and line managers must be capable of setting goals that foster career development. These sessions can also be used to identify opportunities that lie outside of the day-to-day and align to individual interests.

Other benefits, such as flexible working arrangements and mentorship programs should be prioritised to help combat staff burnout. Happy employees are much less likely to to look for jobs elsewhere.

Adam Noall, APAC Channel Director, BlueJeans:

Gone are the days of starting a career and spending decades in the same occupation. According to The Foundation for Young Australians, a fifteen-year-old today will experience a portfolio career, potentially having seventeen different jobs over five careers in their lifetime. So how do employers ensure their workplace is engaged and passionate?

One of the strategies I’ve found to be really successful is embracing flexible working. New generations are juggling many priorities between work and home life, so having a flexible work policy where employees can work when and where they want, is a huge a drawcard for employees, and drives employee satisfaction. In fact, many studies have found flexible working practices maximises productivity and innovation.

Although it may seem obvious, it’s important to ensure employees are motivated through opportunity, meaning and benefits. Explain to your employees the career path and opportunities at hand with the company, celebrate the wins and invest time in explaining to team members the role they’re playing for the business. Too often we get caught up in our daily to-do list, that we forget to take a step back and thank our employees for their ongoing contribution. I’ve found employees who feel valued, are the ones that stick around.

Jake Colvin, Co-Founder and Director of International Operations, Owlet:

At Owlet, we’ve found that being extremely mission-focused and living out our values has helped us attract and retain fantastic talent. We’re all about empowering families through our infant technologies, and the people who join us do so largely because they align with the mission of what the brand is trying to achieve.

We also focus heavily on office culture. We’ve worked hard to build a really positive atmosphere that is reflective of the qualities we promote as a business. We’ve done this by implementing initiatives that support our family first approach and encouraging team members to maintain positive work-life balance. A lot of this requires flexibility as a business, and confidence in your team to complete their work within their dedicated office /work hours. Some of the initiatives include a limitless time off policy, and ongoing encouragement for our team to maximise their use of this. As a company of mostly new and young families, we also pay for our team members to go on a date night a month with their partner and assist with paying for babysitters.

Furthermore, team building activities are essential for retaining talent. We hold an Owlet-wide company lunch every Friday. All of our departments come together to talk about how things are going. For team members it’s an opportunity to be honest and talk about what’s working well or what could be improved upon. On the last Friday of the month we go one step further and do a half day where our families join the lunch and everyone heads home early. Our quarterly and half yearly initiatives often involve more outdoorsy activities, particularly with our team members based at HQ in Utah. We’ll rent a house together and go hiking or we’ll rent a boat and go out on a lake. We find that celebrating this balance resonates with our team and propels them to do their best, both in the office and at home.

Mike Russell, Chief Operating Officer, Central Innovation:

With both AEC and Manufacturing industries going through unprecedented technological change and constant software upgrades, talent retention has become utmost importance to businesses. Training and upskilling are two key strategies that would help organisations retain talent. It’s more important than ever for companies to consider investing into training and upskilling programs for new recruits and pre-existing talent within the organisation.

This will benefit both parties, whilst companies will have well-equipped staff, employees will feel valued as their professional development is evidently prioritised. In today’s digital-first world, businesses need to ensure that the chosen training programs and certified courses focusing on latest software and technologies such as Project Management courses, AgilePM certification, CAD design courses for SOLIDWORKS or ARCHICAD, which aims at enhancing business functions. Ultimately, a holistic approach towards the growth of employees by investing in training will essentially contribute to the health of the business and eventually retain the best talent.

Sabri Suby, Founder, King Kong:

Our industry, digital marketing, has a skills shortage, but we have managed to retain amazing talent by focusing on culture, development and, of course, compensation.

The most important thing is to live and breathe your company goals and values, and embed them in the culture of your business so that your team belong to something impressive and are collectively working toward the same big picture.

Next, team members should be able to see how they will grow with your company so that they know they can stay for the long-run, so offering continued learning will give any business an edge.

Finally, compensation – because they don’t just do it for the love. It goes without saying that you need to pay your team fairly based on market rate and the skills they have to offer, and you should also reward them regularly as they develop in your company.

Senior Talent Manager, Employsure, Jess Van Der Walt:

We have found the best strategy to retain talent is ensuring employees have three fundamental connections in the workplace: company, manager, and job.

This is based on Gallups research findings of what is means to have engaged employees. Identifying that people desire connection to one’s company and peers (company), the provision of opportunities to learn (manager) and the ability to contribute from one’s role (job). Our regular feedback touch points enable people to have organic conversations with their managers. Using this framework, we are able to drive initiatives that close the gaps on weak connections.

Taking a balanced approach from talent acquisition and onboarding, through to team engagement and developing future leaders for the business. We are incredibly focused on protecting and enhancing the investment we make in our people through forward thinking and innovative programs.

David Hickey, Director of Strategy APAC, Meltwater:
Meltwater’s culture is based on a fundamental belief in people and the potential they possess. We have numerous strategies in place that help us retain talent and support our values, including mentorship and management workshops, culture clubs, monthly team events, awards nights and the ‘Gold Star’ program, which recognises new team members’ first sale at Meltwater.

We always look to promote from within — one of Meltwater’s strengths is our ability to foster young, bright, talented individuals. I started at Meltwater straight out of university and ten years on, I’m leading APAC strategy. We help people enjoy the work they do by creating genuine connections between their day-to-day jobs and the company’s overall mission and objectives. With an average employee age of 26, we aim to keep our entrepreneurial spirit alive constantly, delighting in hard work and the feeling of accomplishment that comes with it.

Meltwater was ranked 14th in the Great Places to Work award this year, and has placed in the top 20 list for the fifth year in a row. Our high employee satisfaction rate is attributed to the company’s focus on having fun and ensuring all employees have a sense of purpose within the business.

Sam Riley, Co-founder and CEO, Ansarada:
Our model for leadership at Ansarada is to serve, not just our customers but our people too.

Because of this model, we invest significantly in our culture and people. Culture drives employee engagement, which leads to talent retention, greater productivity, and a stronger business model. To us, culture is more than an office outfit and regular soirees. Culture is about raising and realising the potential of people. This feeds into the role of our leadership, which is to make every employee feel part of the journey and shaping of the business.

It’s this approach that has seen us retain and grow the best talent over the years, and gain external recognition through awards like Great Places to Work — six years in a row. The key to talent retention is about having a strong culture, being people-first, and focusing efforts on realising the potential of your people.