Finding the best talent for your company is a process, but retaining that talent is a steeper challenge. These days, top employees won’t stick around if you don’t take some smart initiatives on talent management.

As a manager, it’s easy to fall into a complacency trap when you feel that you have assembled the perfect team.  Improve your leadership skills with proactive management and avoiding the eight common pitfalls that lead to high employee turnover.

1. Making Assumptions that Your Talent Won’t Leave

One of the worst examples of complacency is automatically assuming your best talent wants to stay with your company. Forbes notes a significant component to this that company managers sometimes forget:

“Employees who are challenged, engaged, valued, and rewarded (emotionally, intellectually & financially) rarely leave.”

It’s worth building this truism into your talent management philosophy. A core reason that talented employees leave their current companies is that supervisors fail to challenge or engage them. Embrace creativity, and foster a sense of ownership amongst your team.

Don’t assume they’ll go along with your program if it doesn’t involve some creativity. More so, you need to develop their skills and feel like they’re valuable in all your business projects.

2. Lengthy Hiring Processes

How protracted is your hiring process? Candidates appreciate a swift process. Elongating the process with unnecessary steps will only cause impatience and encourage job candidates to seek opportunities elsewhere.

3. Hiring the Wrong Candidates

Perhaps you’re desperate to staff vacancies and hire the wrong person. It’s easy to take what someone’s resume says and not follow up on whether it’s all true. Take care to vet candidate resumes and references properly.

Encourage your interviewers to focus on tangible deliverables, like anecdotes about their relevant skill sets and previous success.  Make sure your team does their due diligence. These days, online vetting is easy.

4. Lack of Training and Development

If you hire the best people, you should invest in their professional development. Creating a professional development plan with supervisees and sharing upcoming training opportunities will foster a culture of learning and growth. If employees feel like they have nowhere to go, they’ll feel stifled and look elsewhere for challenges.  Taking the time to mentor and coach employees requires commitment, but is well worth the effort. 

5. Failure to Communicate

Effective communication is key. A core best practice of talent management is to touch base early and often to ensure that company leaders are on the same page. Failing to do so can cause misinformation to spread throughout your departments and cause confusion and false assumptions.

Create standing one on one meetings with employees to build a healthy relationship with them and foster trust. Listening to their concerns shouldn’t fall squarely on the shoulders of your HR department.

6. Not Recognizing When Someone Does a Good Job

Your top talent is going to work hard to bring their best expertise to your company projects. Never take this for granted, because the talent you hire wants recognition for the work they do.

Employees today, especially millennials, want more than money. They want to be recognized for a job well done. Providing this feedback helps to keep employees motivated to reach their goals and celebrate team success. Publically recognizing your employees goes a long way towards cultivating a healthy, proactive team.

7. Failure to Establish Key Performance Indicators

Creating specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely (SMART) goals is paramount increasing your retention rates. Employees want to have clear-cut objectives, not ambiguous ill-defined goals. Creating annual or biannual KPIs is a great way to help you keep employees on track while furthering company-wide initiatives.

8. Encourage Individual Ownership

Foster a culture of trust with your team by encouraging them to take ownership of their projects. Allowing employees to take responsibility for their work will enable them to grow and learn while alleviating your workload. If you’re struggling with this, take a moment to remember why you hired them in the first place. Moreover, encouraging talent to take ownership improves engagement and develops a company-wide learning culture.