Retaining and Inspiring Your Top Talent

Use The Right Approach To Keep The Right People.

Business woman portraitMost of us have experienced the frustration of having a high potential employee leave our organization. Whether they left to join another company or to pursue personal interests, it makes us question: what could we have done differently or better to engage them enough to stay? According to research done by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a Chicago-based Outplacement Firm, 91% of HR Executives believe the war for talent will escalate if the economy stays on it current track and 75% of those polled report that they are unable to fill their current open positions.

This data is a wake-up call for all organizational leaders. Top talent retention is no longer the sole responsibility of the Human Resources function but rather a significant business challenge for the entire Executive Team.  Indeed, 57% of 4700 companies surveyed by, cited “Keeping High Performers” as a top business concern, up from 20% in 2010. So what do we do? The key to keeping your best talent is to better understand what makes them excel in your culture and to avoid trying to please everyone and focus more on the individuals that truly make your organizations great.

The number one reason employees leave an organization, based on our research, is the leadership failure of key managers. Given that talented employees will always be in demand and susceptible to being recruited by other companies, it’s more important than ever to improve our leadership practices. If the game is becoming more competitive, we need to change the way we play. It is your responsibility as a leader, regardless of where you sit in your organization, to value and inspire your top talent and make leaving a difficult proposition. Here are a few suggestions for retaining the talent you want to keep:

It takes tremendous effort to recruit the most talented candidates into your organization and then develop them into productive assets. These people have the most opportunities from which to choose. To have the greatest chance of success, we must create a culture that is challenging, fun and rewarding (both intrinsically and financially). Great people attract other great people. And the more great performers that exit through the back doors of your company, the fewer great replacements you will hire. Successful people want to work for a winning team. Nurture and value your top human capital—remember, it is no longer your right to get the best talent, it is your privilege.

Contributed by Howard Morgan

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