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10 keys for retaining talent on your team

This is serious. And it’s happening. How can you avoid the Great Resignation in your company?

Given that context, it seems inevitable that companies will start to seriously invest in their employees’ salaries, opportunities, and general well-being. They’ll do so for humanity and because it’s good for business.

How to increase employee retention. 10 ways

Below we give you 10 keys for retaining talent on your team and preventing the Great Resignation from reaching your offices.

1. Promote flexibility.

A more flexible work model means that your employees can work when they want and from wherever they want. For many professionals, spending time with their families and managing their own time has become a non-negotiable priority, and they will only take jobs that allow it.

2. Avoid micromanagement.

Reorganizing work to be more flexible in an increasingly out-of-sync world also means having to give your workers more autonomy. Even if you continue to supervise and support your workers, they will want to take leadership and responsibility for their own projects and have more independence from their bosses. Forget about control and start working on trust.

3. Focus on job crafting.

In other words, create a culture of individualized working conditions where responsibilities conform to the particularities of each employee. Every professional has their own interests, values, preferences, strengths, weaknesses and unique skills. If you can agree with each person on tasks that are adapted to what they do best, it will improve their performance, feeling of control, commitment and motivation.

“We all want challenges with interesting work and to get the chance to learn something new that’s aligned with our talents and interests, which some people call ‘job crafting’. This is also particularly necessary given that technological advancements are changing the nature of many jobs.”

Anneloes Raes, IESE professor.

4. Improve communication.

To implement any of these changes, it is essential to know your employees very well. To get to know them, you have to communicate them in a personal and empathetic way. Create spaces and channels for having calm and sincere conversations with them, and keep in mind that many are going through very difficult times.

5. Allow for disconnection.

Teleworking has given us lots of flexibility, but it has also brought large amounts of stress and exhaustion from the continual use of devices and applications, to which we stay connected even when we are theoretically off work. Help your employees disconnect from screens and make sure they don’t feel obligated to be available at all times.

 6. Pay attention to training. 

The only way your workers will be ready to tackle any change or new challenge is if they never stop learning. When the company invests in their learning, it gives them confidence and helps them feel more valued and engaged. Don’t forget that the most accessible source of talent is taking care of the talent you already have.

7. Value your employees.

When a worker feels valued, it increases their sense of belonging and strengthens their bonds with the company. Asking them for help and personally and publicly recognizing the value they add helps them want to keep growing with you. Give them the respect and attention they deserve, don’t take them for granted and think of them more as customers than as employees.

8. Design custom compensation packages.

Obviously, beyond gestures and words, one of the more effective ways to value and retain your employees is through a good salary. But it’s not just about paying them more. Creating personal plans with financial, social and development benefits adapted to their preferences will help them feel more connected to the company.

9. Cultivate a sense of purpose.

Make them part of something larger than themselves. Once our basic needs are covered, we are all called to contribute to society and work on something worthwhile that has a larger meaning. If you company has clear values, culture and purpose it will attract the professionals who most identify with that vision.

“People need a sense of meaning and purpose, that is to feel that they are contributing to something that is positive and significant. That can be something really big like climate change, or simply having a sense of being seen and respected for how you contribute to your team.”

Anneloes Raes, IESE professor.

10. If they leave, thank them.

If in the end, despite all your efforts, one of your employees decides to pack their bags, the best attitude to have is to be grateful. Everyone evolves and it’s normal for our paths to diverge. Be appreciative of the person and help them see the positive impact they’ve left on the organization. What’s more, you never know if you’ll meet again in the future.


Even if it seems unthinkable to implement all these measures in your company today, the Great Resignation is very likely to entail a significant and long-term change to the global work culture. For many people, the pandemic has just accelerated a transition that was already under way. If we want to have employees that are more effective and committed, we’d better be prepared.

IESE offers a wide range of executive programs for you to develop your full potential as a leader.

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