Stop your star employees from leaving with this ONE simple method

woman smiling behind laptop while she's searching for talent

Can companies stop their star employees from leaving? It is inevitable for long-term employees to seek opportunities outside.

Many companies make the mistake of putting the most emphasis on recruiting the right person.

Just to tackle sub-standard productivity levels, high turnover rates and increasing workforce costs.

This is just the first step.

Companies have to realise that the only way to discourage talents from leaving is as simple as Employee Engagement.

It will improve retention rates and improve productivity, especially among your star employees.

On average, labour accounts for more than a third of total business costs in Singapore. This is especially so for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

It’s now more important than ever to retain talents and keep them from resigning. More so now with high workforce costs and an uncertain economy.

Let’s explore how you can stop your star employees from leaving with these 3 simple ways of employee engagement.

Do an impactful onboarding programme to start your employees on the right foot

A new hire starts their first day.

They’ll get a desk equipped with the stationery required to start work. For instance, a computer or laptop, pens and paper, and more.

Perhaps they’ll also get a piece of paper with access information. Also included is the access to knowledge banks to learn on his own.

More often than not, senior staff will welcome the new hire.

They’ll then be introduced around the office. They might struggle to remember who is who at which department.

Then, a list of tasks he is to deliver.

Sounds familiar?

If your goal is to disillusion the new employee and feel uncertain, then this is the way to go.

But, don’t be surprised. This idealistic and energetic new hire may submit their resignation even before the probation period ends.

Now you have to restart your recruitment process.

You can avoid this.

Take the time to implement a dynamic and effective onboarding programme.

A comprehensive onboarding programme can last for anywhere between 6 months to 2 years.

Multinational corporations (MNCs) such as Shell, Microsoft and the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) engaged their new hires even before they join the company.

The programme has allowed these companies to have one of the lowest turnover rates in Singapore. They consistently received Top Employer of Choice or Gallup’s Great Workplace Awards.

An effective onboarding programme is role-specific, engaging and informative.

Click here or here to find out how to create this simple yet substantially cost-saving recruitment tool.

Get your new hire to advance their career with your company.

And your long-term employees from leaving due to low morale. This usually happens when there is high turn-over.

Set up a constructive employee feedback loop

Now your new hire is on the customised onboarding programme.

Next on your employee engagement plan is to put in place a productive employee feedback loop.

An open, communicative channel between management and employees should not be relegated to just the once in a blue moon occasion.

For instance, bi-annual performance reviews or the year-end bonus audit exercises.

Instead, it should be an ongoing process that engages employees on a meaningful level.

Research has shown that companies that promote open internal communications are more likely to have a lower employee turnover rate.

It also inspires their employees to reach their potential and improve productivity.

Employ an open-door policy.

Encourage your employees to voice their opinions in public. Especially during meetings.

It could also be in private during informal coffee sessions with their managers.

This allows your manager to recognise rising talents.

Also, to relegate any office conflicts or potential issues that undermine workplace productivity .

Consequently, to resolve them quickly and proficiently.

Effective open communication will stop your employees from leaving due to misunderstanding and misery.

Managing expectations can stop your employees from leaving

According to a recent study conducted by international recruitment firm Randstad,

  • 55% of Singapore employees would stay with a company that promotes a good work-life balance while
  • 53% will leave if there is a lack of career growth opportunities.

What’s more, disengaged employees have cost Singapore’s economy between $4.9 and $6.7 billion annually.

However, as an SME, your company may not have the luxury yet to provide the high salaries and variety of benefits that MNCs can give.

In this case, focus on what your company can do. And that is to provide

  • more opportunities for career progression through robust training and development programme, and
  • flexible work arrangements to improve work-life balance.

Take advantage of the Ministry of Manpower’s Work-Life Grant that helps applicable Singapore companies provide a work-life friendly environment—thereby engaging their employees to play as hard as they work.

Say what you do, do what you say.

This quote is a good example of unaligned expectations. That may lead to the disgruntlement of your star employees.

If not handled, you will definitely lose them.

We have seen many such cases.

Employers will promise and claim things during interviews.

Then once the employee joined, matters are different.

Here are a few things employers tend to overdo without realising.

  • Claimed that the company is doing very well but it isn’t
  • Promised that they will be working together as a partner but being bossed around
  • Expected the employee to handle a certain important project but was given to others after that

The list goes on.

It could also be the other way round.

Where employees assumed certain things that the employer cannot promise or provide.

As the leader or owner of your company, you have to ensure the expectations of both parties are managed.

This way you can stop your employees from leaving due to disgruntlement.


Ultimately, you can’t stop your star employees from leaving.

They may choose to leave despite all the efforts you’ve put in.

However, this can simply mean they’ve been with your company for quite a while, and it’s time for them to move on.

In this event, your employees leaving with a positive experience and may even be your company’s unofficial advocates. That could encourage the next generation to join your company or stop other employees from leaving.

All in all, it is a win-win situation to implement a powerful employee engagement system.

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Amos Tay

Amos Tay

Amos Tay is the Senior Partner of Hatch Asia. He is a Gallup-Certified CliftonStrength Coach and lead our executive search, coaching and expand our partnership development across the region.

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