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How to retain talent



Expert | Leadership

By Arturo Arrarte

Byline: Arturo Arrarte, Head of Growth APAC, Slack


The most important asset any business has is talent.

An engaged and effective workforce can be the difference between business failure and success. It is therefore no surprise that attracting and retaining top talent happens to be a major challenge for the majority of companies.

According to a Global Study by McKinsey, almost one-third of senior leaders cite finding talent as their most significant managerial challenge.

The same study also suggests that any current talent shortages are likely to become more pronounced, with employers in Europe and North America set to require 16 million to 18 million more college-educated workers in 2020 than are going to be available. This is a vast discrepancy and one that is also predicted to be felt across Australia.

With talent so scarce, organisations need to be doing everything in their power to secure top talent. Millennials make up more of the Australian workforce, compared to any other generation. This, compounded by the fact that millennials tend to be more educated than previous generations means it is wise to assume the majority of top talent will be drawn from the millennial generation.

Which begs the question, what does this potential top talent want from their employers?

In a word?

Transparency.

According to recent research by Slack, 80% of workers want to know more about how decisions are made in their organisation and 87% want their future company to be transparent. For millennials, specifically, they seek honest, in-the-moment feedback and expect transparency from their employers, according to PwC.

For businesses looking to not only recruit top tier talent, but also ensure they stick around for years to come, promoting greater transparency is one way of making this a reality.

Transparency in the workplace is key as it provides workers the ability to understand and align with strategic priorities. For others, transparency helps them grow professionally, whether that’s through access to wider industry trends or learning about opportunities to take on projects outside of their normal role.

Digging deeper into the nature of this transparency, research by Slack shows workers want to know about three key areas. 1) They wish to understand more about their company, in terms of business strategy and business health. 2) They also appreciate knowing about their colleagues, such as internal promotions and company-sponsored events. 3) They want to be abreast of the competition, including industry trends and external events.

Effective leaders support transparency because it helps people move quickly and feel engaged; to operate in alignment and have the autonomy to make decisions.

When organisations nail transparency and support it with quality talent, the result is usually better business performance. Arming talent with the information they need allows them to more effectively do their job and also strengthens trust across the organisation. This makes employees feel more invested in company success, therefore encouraging them to do their utmost best.

Workplace collaboration tools, with channel-based forms of communication, arrange conversations via team or project, providing a single place to share messages, tools and files. This plays a key role in encouraging open communication and access to company information, by providing users with a complete and searchable log of all relevant conversations.

When it comes to retaining and getting the best out of talent, the writing is on the wall. Achieving and promoting organisational transparency is the key to unlocking long-term business success, with top talent attracted to and ultimately driving both this transparency and success.

These factors places the onus squarely on the shoulders of employers, they have the power to shape company culture from the top, ensuring that organisational transparency is baked into the foundations of their businesses. Those that establish a transparent culture will find themselves securing the best talent and as a result achieving business success.

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