Talent retention equals customer retention. It’s that simple. To ensure that your customers continue to support the products and services your organization offers, the first thing you need to do as a leader in your organization is to create an atmosphere where talented people can thrive and want to stay. Because when your talent stays, your customers stay. How do you do this? Step one is to create an environment of trust – a workplace where people are engaged, enthused, and collaborative because they understand they are safe – safe from downsize, rightsize games that try to anticipate the market climate. For example, in the wake of 9/11, of the eminent airlines only Southwest Airlines did not dismiss numerous employees out of market fears. As a result, talent there felt safer and more protected than their counterparts at other airlines who were let go.
Once people feel safe, the next step is to invest in them. SAS, SAP, and other marquee organizations know that investing in training and development, and rewarding performance, creates a strong sense of loyalty and engagment in top talent. And finally, remember that if you want to retain talented people, let them make key decisions to drive the success of the organization. As Jeffrey Pfeffer says, “If you intend to tell everyone what to do, hire idiots. They’re cheaper.”