With the hospitality/events industry facing a major talent shortage, retaining existing employees can be equally, if not more challenging, than attracting new ones. What retention efforts have been effective?

ANDREW CHAN
ACI HR SOLUTIONS
CEO

While there’s no sure-fire way of retaining talent, what are some methods that have proven effective in Asia? Why have they been effective?

Start with a proper induction of new employees into an organisation and having a systematic orientation process which most companies still don’t do well. The first three months are critical in retaining the new staff a company has just invested in, as they transition into a new company and culture. Create a network to support new employees; identify your high performers early, and work continuously to grow them in
your organisation.

If you currently don’t have one, consider investing in a career development programme across all levels of your organisation. 60 per cent of staff are said to leave a job under three years of employment, and companies that offer a career development programme stand a better chance of retaining their staff– especially employers focusing their efforts on retaining Gen Y talent.
Career development strategies ensure employees are placed in the right professional environment where they can hone their skills and be given the opportunity to develop their career within an organisation.

What are some methods that have proven ineffective, and why?

While compensation is important, using monetary benefits to retain staff is not an effective retention strategy and may simply put a band aid to existing employee engagement issues an organisation faces. Similarly, organisations that solely rely on the “fun” aspect by building games rooms, organising Friday drinks and gatherings may also be missing out on what employees want from their employers. Today’s talent want to know that they have room for career development, and strategic thought must be given to a holistic retention strategy.

As a manager, what can I do to ensure I’ve given my best in retaining my staff?

Managers need to be “Engagement Advocates” in an organization. Staff retention starts from the top down and as a manager, you need to appreciate and understand your talent and constantly work to keep them.

Your talent’s long-term goals needs to be identified early, while working closely with them to help them gain the critical skills and experience needed to progress within a company.  Have clear vision from the leadership team and consider involving employees in the company’s goal-setting initiatives. Lastly, it helps to practise open door policies at all levels.

As an employee who has given notice, how can I leave the company on a favourable note? Why is it important that I do so?

When leaving a company, the old adage about not burning bridges should be ringing in your ears.  No matter the reason for leaving, thank your employer for the opportunity with the company – you can do this in your resignation letter or in person. If you’re asked for a reason for leaving, stress the opportunities that lie ahead and avoid negative comments, as your goal is to leave on good terms. Ask if there is anything you can do to ease the transition period, and if asked to extend your last day beyond the notice period, do so only if it works with your new employment.