We  live in a different world from thirty years ago. Instant results, knowledge at our fingertips, and communication at the speed of light…these are all realities in 2017 – not only in our personal lives, but also in our lives at work. Customers, clients, and coworkers expect immediate responses, and we have been programmed (or in some cases re-programmed) to react accordingly. In this fast-paced, technology-driven, instantaneous world, how do business leaders retain top talent and hold on to the good ones before they are stolen away by the next big thing, the newest shiny toy, or the most creative perk you can imagine? We think it’s important to keep a few key ideas in mind when planning how to not only attract those star performers, but even more importantly…how to keep them!

· Employee Engagement & Purpose: Employees not only want to be engaged with their work, they want a company culture that supports great causes, that offers volunteer opportunities, and that gives back in some monetary or giving way.

Keep your employees engaged with not only their job (in terms of duties and challenges that come their way on the daily) but with a larger mission statement, vision, or volunteerism. Not sure what will keep your employees’ attention? Do a quick survey or take a poll using @SurveyMonkey and find out what your employees want! It takes a few minutes to set one up and only seconds for your employees to complete online.

· Internal Mobility:  So often companies spend thousands of dollars recruiting when they may have a great candidate sitting in front of them. Always consider your own employees when recruiting. Of course, there will be circumstances that call for an external recruiter, but when the promotion from within makes sense, use it! Employees love to see that they have an opportunity to grow in their own career while setting down roots in an organization that they can stand by.

· Brand Power: The biggest supporters of your organization should be the ones who are already a part of the company. Use your company brand to influence not only your marketing but also your internal cheerleaders. Sponsor company events and encourage the employees to blast it all over social media! Use the technology and weapons of today’s world against your competition, and make a statement for yourself as an organization that makes people want to work for you, and stay there long-term. Again, getting feedback from your employees would be ideal in order to make sure you are reaching both their hearts as well as their minds!

· Work Flexibility: Workplace flexibility is not just about telecommute and flex schedule options. Employees today love a good creative workspace. Have you considered co-working spaces? That’s a whole new avenue for organizations to look into…allowing

teams to get together and work in a collaborative space, but also utilizing the space for other purposes throughout the week. According to Emily Klein, contributing writer at  @Oracle, “Sitting in a cubicle all day long is increasingly considered a workplace hazard in attracting top talent. Given schedule complexities that govern daily lives, employees want freedom in how and where they work.”

· Learning & Development: Gone are the days where many organizations offered tuition reimbursement or paid for their employees to go to school and earn a degree in their field of choice. However, these companies do still exist, and there are a lot of other organizations that will consider paying for certifications or licenses that will improve an employee’s knowledge in the field and also boost your company morale by showing employees that the organization supports knowledge, learning, and development. Encourage your employees to attend trainings, offer perks that go along with those trainings, and generally provide a positive learning and working environment where people feel like they can spread their wings, and not be boxed in to a cubicle or a job that will start to feel suffocating if nothing ever changes.

There is no time like the present to take a look at the ways that you can bolster your organization to be the one that retains top talent as well as you attract them. Think of recruitment and retention like dating. It’s easy to make a good first impression, but keeping someone around for the long haul is the true testament of a winning strategy!

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