Employee retention is important for any business, but some do seem to continually get it wrong. Even big name, household brands – who have no trouble in attracting talent – fail to have a successful talent management strategy in place. Here are six reasons why large companies could fail to keep hold of their best people.

1. Not listening to the individual

In big organisations, it can be easy to treat employees as a unit rather than as individuals. HR resources can often be stretched and some employees will get very little face time with HR staff or even their own line manager. Day-to-day business can tick along under the guise that all employees are blissfully happy – when actually there are frustrations bubbling underneath. Making time for one-on-one feedback with employees and listening to/acting on individuals’ suggestions and concerns is very important for employee satisfaction.

 2. Red tape

Bureaucracy in large corporations can be a common reason for employees looking to move on. Most executive level employees will understand the reasoning behind supposed ‘red tape’ but they may feel disgruntled if they’ve had no say in particular decisions, processes or rules. It’s important to get the ‘buy-in’ of your top talent before establishing important protocols.

3. Lack of career development and engagement

Large firms can often mistakenly assume that a strong salary and benefits package is enough to engage their best talent. Of course, monetary reward is important, but it’s not the only type of reward sought. Most employees will want to know there’s genuine opportunity for career progression and ongoing development in their role. Failure to provide a clear career path with the company can soon lead to disengagement.

4. Failure to spot conflict

Conflict can sometimes go unnoticed and unaddressed in large corporations, simply because nobody realises it’s occurring. This could be conflict between colleagues, or an unsuccessful and unproductive relationship between a line manager and a team member. Conflict or an unsavoury atmosphere soon begins to chip away at morale and motivation. A regular ‘health-check’ of your entire workforce is a good way to keep an eye out for any problem hotspots and deal with them promptly. Facilitating anonymous feedback/satisfaction surveys from all staff could be a helpful temperature check.

5. Poor communication of the vision

This sounds like an obvious point, but it’s so easily neglected. Employees want to feel excited and passionate about the business they work for and need to see a clear vision on the horizon. If an organisation fails to promote the brand internally and fails to successfully communicate the goals of the business as a whole – employees can soon lack direction and drive. If there’s a lack of vision, people may look for inspiration in a different place.

6. Ineffective leadership

At every level, there needs to be robust leadership in place. A lack of strong, consistent management is a prevalent reason for an employee exodus. As outlined above, encouraging open, honest feedback is a good way to highlight any pockets of dissatisfaction within the company as a whole – which may point towards poor management in a certain area. Organisations must ensure that their employees are equipped with good leadership, inclusivity and communication skills – which may involve additional, ongoing training.

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