Retaining talent – How to keep the cream of the crop

Retaining talent – How to keep the cream of the crop

Losing a key employee can have repercussions throughout an entire business. Here at Harmonics Recruitment, we often get questions from clients about how best to retain top talent in this increasingly competitive landscape. Shining stars get noticed and are often enticed by recruiters and competitors to consider their options with other companies. We’ve put our heads together to compile our top tips to help you keep the cream of the crop.


Do all of your employees feel like part of the family? Is teamwork core to your business success? If you’ve answered ‘yes’ with absolute certainty then it might be time to re-evaluate your culture. As leaders, we should constantly ask ourselves “How can I make sure my business is truly inclusive?” and “Are we doing enough for our people?” By having these questions in the back of your mind, it will focus your efforts to create a culture that is open and welcoming.

We live and work in a world that is constantly changing and evolving. Constant questioning of your practices will ensure that your business stays ahead of the curve. A culture of ‘questioning’ will encourage innovation and the exploration of all possibilities – who wouldn’t want that for their business?


Providing feedback to employees needs to become the bread and butter of your business. If top performers are only commended or given constructive criticism at their interim/annual reviews, something needs to change. Reviews can be perceived as a ‘box-ticking’ exercise and as such, may come across as disingenuous.

To combat this, encourage all line managers to hold regular one-to-one and group meetings with their teams. By chatting informally each week/fortnight, the lines of communication remain open, creating a constructive dialogue that allows for two-way constructive criticism and sincere commendation. A passing ‘nice work’ by the coffee machine does not cut it any more – top performers expect tangible feedback on their efforts and thrive in being recognised for a job well done. It costs nothing and the benefits that can be reaped greatly surpass the extra time given towards holding regular meetings.


Engage your employees from the offset. This begins with the on-boarding of new team members. The hiring process should be fast, flexible and efficient, which gives your new recruit a taster for how you do business. The on-boarding process should not end when your new employee walks through the door. Creating tailored induction processes relevant to the team that he or she is joining will help in achieving maximum productivity in a shorter time frame while showing your new recruit that you want to help him/her achieve their potential.

For employees to feel truly engaged, they need to feel that their work directly contributes to the success of the business. This can easily be done by ensuring that each team member has a voice and more importantly, that their voice is listened to. In tandem, it’s important to have clear expectations of your employees so that they know what is required of them. A good employee will aim to please, but they need to know exactly what is needed to do that in order to succeed.

Allow Flexibility

We all strive to strike the balance between work and living our lives. For many companies, the 9 to 5 work day has been replaced by a myriad of working options. Job-sharing, flexible working and remote working are becoming more and more commonplace. Why? It’s all about flexibility. It shows your team that you care about their work-life balance and that you trust them to get the job done, regardless of when they are in the office.

Many leaders are reluctant to take this step for one of two reasons: fear of inefficiency and fear of logistics, however these fears can easily be overcome by having clearly documented processes and requirements for flexible working options. The benefits definitely out-weigh the risks; by allowing employee mobility, you are creating a work environment that suits your people, making it that bit more difficult to give it up.


How do you encourage efficiency without sacrificing quality?  What motivates your people to do the best work possible? If your answer is ‘money’, you may well be encouraging mediocrity in your business. Motivation comes from the ‘sprinkles on top’, the perks you give your people. These may include (but are not limited to) opportunities for upskilling/further education, childcare benefits, free health care, subsidised food and flexible working options. The more ‘sprinkles’ you have in your remuneration package, the easier it becomes to hold on to your people.

Top performers will need more than this though. They do not deliver exceptional results just for fun, many are working hard to get to the next step of the ladder. By  working with them to develop a plan to help them get there, they will be comfortable in knowing that you see the value they are striving to show you which in turn continues to motivate them to do their best. Everybody wins!

Until next time,

The Harmonics Recruitment Team

We Get You – Your Hiring Partner in the Mid-West!

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