Leaders: Attract and retain your organisation’s best talent!

“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” –Richard Branson, Virgin America



Attract and retain your organisation’s best talent

One of the most critical issues facing organisations today is retaining high-performing talent. In fact, it’s recently been a popular topic of discussion brought up by our clients. As the economy stabilises and organisations lift hiring freezes, good performers begin weighing their options and look for greener pastures.

According to CareerBuilder, 39% of employers are concerned that they’ll lose top talent in the coming year; while 66% of workers stated that they are generally satisfied at work, one in four (25%) said they plan to change jobs this year or next.

Losing high performers is painful, both personally and professionally. However, as a leader, you can reduce the risk of losing the right people for the wrong reasons–here are several things you can do:

Share financial success—If your organisation cuts back on benefits, bonuses or perks due to poor financial performance, make sure to lobby for the return of those benefits or enhance the existing ones once the organisation is doing better. In addition to remaining competitive relative to your competitors, employees will also recognise that there is a direct correlation between their financial stability and the organisation’s, and will develop a vested interest in the success of the company.

Provide opportunities for growth—For most individuals the prospect of advancing their career and developing their skills can be as, if not more, valuable than monetary gain. If they feel their career is stagnated, they will most certainly find an organisation with a culture that allows them to develop themselves professionally. For specific strategies and ideas read our blog posts on Developing Talent and Delegating.

Show appreciation—This is a probably the easiest thing to do because a leader’s ability to show appreciation is not dependent on the organisation’s financial status. You may have a rock star employee who always goes above and beyond—a real office hero—but have you told them lately? Recognise their contributions and successes privately and publicly by promoting them or awarding bonuses directly tied to performance. And don’t underestimate the power of your words—a simple “Great job on that project.” can go a long way.

Understand their needs—Understanding your talent’s needs is essential in designing effective retention strategies—you have to know your audience, right? By listening and understanding what your team needs and wants you demonstrate that they matter and are appreciated, which also engenders loyalty.  Developing an open and healthy relationship with your team is the most effective way of getting to know them. Hold regular meetings formally and informally. Stay on top of what they need and act on it. Also keep in mind that their needs evolve as their career and life changes—do not neglect those who are performing well today. Just because they seemed engaged yesterday doesn’t mean they will always feel that way.

In previous blog posts we have discussed the importance of retaining talent and the impact a happy employee can have to the overall success of the organisation. And whilst leaders should always have a focus on retaining good talent, it is becoming increasingly apparent that in order to remain competitive and secure the future of your organisation you must first secure the professional well-being of your talent.

Are there other things your organisation has done to attract and retain your organisation’s best talent? Were they effective? Join in on the conversation in the comments section below. Contact us if you need advise or help implementing talent-retention strategies designed specifically for your organisation.

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