Kaysi Curtin" />

published on August 27, 2021 - 11:36 AM
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Hire slow and fire fast! That’s the tag line we embed in our clients when we are coaching them through the hiring process. Right now, nearly all of them are in “growth mode” and searching for the right candidates to sustain their expanding businesses. But in today’s large pool of “eager-to-work” candidates (insert eye-roll emoji) it is difficult to resist pulling a quick trigger on a candidate you find even halfway decent, afraid there won’t be another decent one for some time.

The top talent you’re looking for isn’t sitting on the couch riding the gravy train. They’re already employed by other businesses and in most cases, your competition. The question is, how engaged are they and what would it take for them to leave?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not promoting that you go out and poach your competitions best employees, although I see it done time and again! Small businesses make up 99.7% of our nation’s employers and many of them are looking for top talent and warm bodies to hire, the question I pose to you is: What are you doing to retain the top talent you already have?

The folks over at Zenefist did new research on more than 600 US businesses with 50-500 employees. It shows 63.3% of companies say retaining employees is much harder than hiring them. You’re first thought may be, “No way, hiring is much harder.” While hiring is no easy feat, if your current hiring process consists of an interview, a background screening/drug test then ends with an offer letter, you’re already setting yourself up for quick turnover. Having a hiring process will drastically eliminate turnover but we’re going to save that for another time.

So how do we retain our top talent? Pay them more money? Not so fast. A 2020 Global Culture Report done by O.C. Tanner Institute states that 89% of employers think employees leave because of money, when only 11% actually do. One of the main reasons employees leave is due to poor interpersonal relationships such as conflict with manager or colleagues. Pretty interesting, right?

The answer to retaining top talent is this — Employee Engagement. Some of you are reading this and telling yourself that your employees are engaged and you’re not at risk for losing top talent. Based on my experience, I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t tell you that when it comes to disengaged employees and unhappy or unsatisfied employees, leadership is typically the last ones to know.

To help you get a better understanding as to your own company’s employee engagement, according to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace, only 15% of employees are actually engaged at work. Just because employees seem happy with their work environment, the benefits you offer and are satisfied with the salary you provide, that doesn’t constitute them being engaged and feeling appreciated.

Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization. A HubSpot study shows 69% of employees say they’d work harder if they were better appreciated. When employees feel appreciated and engaged, they care about the company, and they do their best work to achieve the company’s goals. When you have engaged employees, their No. 1 objective is to contribute to the company’s success. Don’t we all want more productive employees!

Here are the top 4 items to focus on when creating a culture of employee engagement.

  1. Company Culture is priority No. 1: Company culture and employee engagement go hand in hand. Good company culture is one that encourages all around leadership and highly recognizes and appreciates their employees.
  3. Great Communication Skills: A Harris Poll shows 91% of employees think their leaders lack communication skills and they don’t trust employers. Successful organizations have leaders and managers that make certain all employees know what is expected of them and that they support all employees’ professional development. Effective communication starts from the top down and leads to more productive employees, which means, more profit.
  5. Training: Give your employees the training and tools they need to be successful at their job. Show them you care enough to invest in their personal futures, which ultimately plays into the future of the company.
  7. Employee Recognition: Not everyone likes public recognition, but recognize nevertheless. Whether it’s in a one on one or in front of their peers, celebrate their personal victories and build their self-confidence by making them feel appreciated. This will increase their level of accountability, responsibility, and leadership initiatives.


If your company is looking to expand and hire, ask yourself this, could we be jeopardy of losing the top talent we currently have?

Kaysi Curtin is president and owner of Sandler Training for the Fresno market. For more information, visit www.kcurtin.sandler.com.

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