Retention strategies for talent should be every company’s priority. It’s something that simply cannot slip past your radar. Competition is stiff, the market is actively looking for talented individuals and you have some of them. You have to be on your guard otherwise you’ll quickly watch your top resources slip away leaving behind a huge void in your talent pool.

There are several strategies companies have employed to encourage retention. Some of them include bonus plans, reward programs, trainings and so on. But if you’re working with a tight budget and still want to hold on to your top talent try these retention strategies.

1. Their Say Should Matter

Many companies create tools to obtain feedback from employees. They use surveys and suggestion boxes which enable employees to convey their opinions. But what’s next is pretty much limited. Some suggestions may be good enough that the management implements them. But are employees aware of it?

Getting feedback from your employees for the sake of pacifying them with the “we’re hearing you” notion isn’t enough. Do something with their feedback. If it’s something that a majority of your employees want then make it happen. Communication needs to be two-ways and frequent. If they’ve taken the time and made the effort to provide you feedback, then you owe them a reply. Even if the suggestion isn’t possible to implement, you need to communicate why it’s not going to work out for the company.

Having their opinions heard, responded to, and even implemented is a great way to encourage ownership from your employees. It’ll give them the feeling of not only being truly part of a company, but contributing to its growth and culture. And nothing spells out retention more than feeling ownership in your company.

2. Share Success Stories

Everyone loves a good success story. In movies, books, TV shows and real-life we enjoy seeing a struggling individual make it big. Look at Chris Gardner’s emotional story which was glorified in the movie In Pursuit of Happyness that made him a hero for everyone who’s experienced a tough career path.

Look around your company – I’m sure you’ll find plenty of heroes and heroines. Everyone’s got a back story which has helped them reach this far (and possibly will take them further as well). It’s easy to spot these heroes and heroines by how dedicated and committed they are to their work. How proud they are of their achievements.

Every two weeks or so you could spotlight these heroes and heroines and share their achievements. I’m not suggesting you exploit their entire life’s struggles, but those that highlight their career paths, the choices they made, the things they did, all to achieve success in their careers. It’ll not only allow the heroes and heroines’ to feel pride in themselves and honored by their company, but it’ll encourage others to strive for more.

3. Do Fun Things Together

If you truly want to get work done from someone, you need to know how to motivate and encourage them. And to understand that you need to know the people you are working with. Sure you could spend hours talking to them and getting to know them. But how much time do you really spend getting to know people from other functions? Usually cross-functional interactions are limited to “work talk”.

The office has a tendency of being a dull and strictly work related place. It’s how it’s designed and what its purpose is. But, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. Its culture can be shaped as you want it. A culture where people are truly connected and happy to be at work makes retention easy. To create such a culture your employees not only need to like the people they work with, but truly enjoy their company.

To achieve this, companies hold events outside the workplace that fosters healthy connections between coworkers. Events like family days and movie nights are great. Even watching a cricket match at the office which unites people can facilitate deeper connections.

Have you implemented some effective retention strategies that have worked for your company? Do share them.