Structured career reviews are the best way for a company to retain their employees, says recruiting experts Hays.

In a recent survey of candidates across Asia, 57 per cent of respondents indicated that structured career reviews for promotions and salary increases are the best way for a company to retain their employees.

The primary aim of the survey was to find out what matters most to employees. As many economies move toward a candidate-short market, retention and attraction strategies will be high on the employer’s agenda, and the survey results will be of interest to human resource departments and senior management.

The survey showed that when choosing a new job, career development was the main consideration for the majority (65 per cent) of respondents. This was ahead of company environment (19 per cent) and salary (15 per cent)

Two in five respondents believed that the company environment and public image were the main characteristics of a “winning” company, while one in three said it was career development. A further one in five named profitability as the prime characteristics of a “winning” company.

The fact that existing employees consider structured career reviews important and that the majority of job seekers rate career development as the main consideration for moving to a new company show it is important for employers to put in place a solid talent management programme.

By setting clear goals for career advancement, employers keep their valued employees motivated and on target. They become engaged and are far more likely to remain loyal.

Staff appraisals provide an opportunity to discuss the individual’s performance, development and the support required from the manager. Prior to the meeting, a manager might ask the employee to consider any courses they feel would benefit them in their work. Not only does this engage the employee, it says a lot about their goals and ambitions.

Training and development however doesn’t necessarily mean formal courses. One-on-one training and mentorships in the workplace can be just as effective. An employee could take on additional duties, such as chairing meetings.

Investing in skills development has obvious rewards: it allows employees to be the best they can be, adds value to the bottom line and boosts talent retention.