How Talent Management Programs Can Impact Employee Retention: A Post Contributed by Sean Conrad*

In the hospitality industry, employee turnover can be a significant problem that costs the organization in numerous ways. Among other things, high employee turnover:
  • drives up recruiting and hiring costs
  • impacts the engagement and satisfaction of remaining employees
  • affects the quality and consistency of service you provide to customers (and thereby impacts your brand)
The reasons for high turnover are numerous. But many of the root causes can be addressed through effective talent management programs. Here are just a few of the ways your talent management processes and practices can help you retain a high performing workforce.

Hire the Right People
Before you interview candidates for a role, you should make sure that you have an accurate, up-to-date job description for the role, as well as a list of the competencies (also called skills or values) that are important for success in the role. With these in place, you can more effectively assess whether a candidate has the right experience and skills for the job, set expectations for performance and hire the right people, right from the start.

Get New Employees off to a Good Start
Good onboarding programs take care of more than just necessary paperwork and benefit program registrations. They help your new employees get off to a good start by doing things like:

  • introducing them to your corporate culture
  • ensuring they have the orientation and training they need to get productive in their new role
  • ensuring they clearly understand the job expectations and their goals
  • helping them build a network with the influencers and decision makers they need to work with
  • following their progress in their new role and giving them feedback and coaching on their performance
All of these important activities are designed to help ensure the employee's success in their new role, so they're more likely to perform well and stay in their job.

Ongoing Performance Management
At the heart of your talent management programs should be a solid performance appraisal process that ensures employees have goals that are aligned with organizational goals, get regular feedback and coaching on their performance, and are given development plans to help them expand their knowledge/skills/abilities as well as address any performance gaps. A good performance appraisal process helps to build a strong working relationship between the employee and their manager or supervisor. Research shows that employees who receive this kind of support perform better, are more engaged and are more likely to stay with their employer.

Opportunities for Development and Career Progression
Every employee should be given the opportunity to expand their knowledge/skills/experience and to address any performance or skill gaps. Research has shown that offering employees opportunities for development and a career path within the organization are key to employee engagement and retention. Employees, especially top performers, need to feel like they have a future with the organization, and will be supported in their development and career progression.

Reward Performance
Rather than simply basing your compensation and rewards programs on budgets and employee seniority, you should root them in employee performance. By effectively recognizing employee performance, in a myriad of ways, you further encourage high performance and communicate to employees that you value their service.

Putting in place effective talent management programs is one of the most important ways you can demonstrate organizational commitment to your employees and address many of the dissatisfiers that have been shown to impact employee engagement and retention.

* Sean Conrad is a Certified Human Capital Strategist and Senior Product Analyst at Halogen Software, one of the leading providers of performance appraisal software. For more of his insights on talent management, read his posts on the Halogen blog.

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