Retain Your Talents By Applying These N.I.C.E Steps

In a study done by New Delhi consultancy firm, Achievers, a mere 9% of employees agree with their bosses that they are regularly recognized for their work, skills, and contributions. That is a scary number! If you run a company of 20, 18 of them are unhappy. As such, companies are looking at high turnover rates and find themselves constantly having to retrain their talents. As such, we also see the recent trend of companies bringing in consultants to assess the morale of the company and how they can retain their talents whom they have trained.

What if there were some steps you could take to help with that? Well, there are! Here are some N.I.C.E. steps to take towards lowering your turnover rates.

1. Recognise that it is NECESSARY

We cannot emphasize enough how important employee retention is – it is necessary for your company! There are many negative impacts on the company if it is experiencing a high turnover. Impacts such as:

  • High Cost

Studies have shown that the employee replacement costs can be as high as 60% of an employee’s annual salary. That is expensive! Think of the advertising cost, the time spent during the recruitment process. These are direct and indirect costs incurred when replacing an employee who has left.

  • Decreases Productivity

While you are in the midst of interviewing a candidate or training a new employee for the role, it means that your team is incomplete. They are loaded with more work or less work is being done. The productivity of your team will be affected even as the new employee takes time to adapt to the environment, develop good working relationships with their colleagues, and may not be immediately up to speed with all that your former employee was doing.

  • Decreases Morale

As your employees struggle with additional workload, they still have to take time to train and get to know their new colleagues. It might feel like the ship is sinking and everyone is jumping off, abandoning them. Having a high turnover rate decreases the morale of the employees who stayed on and are trying to hold the ship together.

  • Bad Reputation

A company with high turnover reflects badly on the management. Given that various industries have different rates of turnover, going above the median might imply an internal problem. That makes a job seeker think twice before applying for a position in that company and ultimately makes attracting new talent tough, or almost impossible.


A healthy workplace and happy employees require an intentional effort to create! If you do nothing to create the workplace that you want, that is all it will be to your employees – nothing. Think about what kind of workplace you want to create, then work towards it. Most employees look for a place where they can be cultivated and where they feel appreciated. Here are some small steps you can take towards that:

–    Praise the good work openly, review the bad work privately

–    Smile often (you’ll be surprised how effective this is)

–    Use polite words like please and thank you towards your subordinates

Remember, what you celebrate becomes your culture; what you reward becomes your goals; what you honor becomes your values. Intentionally celebrate, reward and honor so that you can create the culture, goal, and values that you want.


Managers are not expected to become your employee’s best friend or confidant, but you are expected to be someone who can propel them forward in their goals. To do that, you need to know what their goals are.

Communication now takes place annually or bi-annually – during the appraisal periods. During these seasons, employees and managers likewise take it as a routine and ask/answer questions monotonously. That is why most appraisal systems do not seem effective. Appraisals only work when both parties are open and genuine, and that only comes with regular communication. Look into creating a journaling system, whereby both the employee and manager can pen down their thoughts daily. You will be able to get a clearer picture of what your employee is doing, and they will also feel appreciated when you give them regular feedback.

There are HR systems in the market that have this journaling functionality built-in. Use them to your advantage!

4. ENGAGE at Every Level

I read a story on Linkedin titled: employees don’t leave companies, they leave bosses. A man, who has never taken a sick day, comes in on time and leaves late, asked to leave earlier one day because his wife was involved in a serious car accident. His boss replied unempathetically and asked him to stay on for 10 more minutes. With that, he started planning his exit strategy immediately.

When engaging your employees, do not limit that engagement to work alone, but talk about their families, their dreams, what they like to do. Be involved. I’ve heard of most employees who draw a line between their professional and personal life, but most of them do that because they have not found a manager who truly cares for them.

Find opportunities to talk to them – by the water cooler, on the way to the restroom, lunch breaks. These small conversations go a long way in creating trust and loyalty.

Accomplishing these N.I.C.E. steps might seem daunting at first, but it just takes a small effort every day. Think about digitizing your HR where automation can even help you in creating that culture you want, and help you become the boss you want to be. A recent study showed that 56% of employees would turn down a 10% pay raise to stay with a great boss. Invest in creating that mythical workplace environment and your talents will not only give you their 110% but also stay on with you for a long time.