Retaining Top Talent: 7 Tips

Losing your top performers costs time and money. You and your organization cannot afford to let them walk. Especially now in these highly volatile economic times. How can you keep them? Take a look at these seven tips:

1. Make sure your top talent is well matched to their jobs.

A great match includes strong consideration of their professional interests, education and skills, experience, motivation, and commitment to growth. It’s not enough to focus on skill sets. Someone may excel at bringing in new business, but if he doesn’t really like that type of work, then you are doing both him and your company a huge disservice by placing him in such a position. He probably won’t stay.

2. Show top talent how they fit into the larger organizational picture.

It’s difficult for folks to function at their optimal level in a vacuum. People need to know that what they do matters. Connect the dots between their work and departmental goals as well as the company’s overall strategic plan. Talk with them about the role they play in the whole scheme of things.

3. Keep the experience fresh.

Take the initiative to challenge your employees in appropriate ways. Allowing them to stay comfortable in a familiar box leads to boredom. When people feel stale, they lose their creativity, zest, and drive. Once these negatives set in, they are more inclined to forfeit any loyalty they have had toward you. Consciously or unconsciously, they may begin to shop around to see what else is out there.

4. Recognize and reward excellence.

While paychecks count to some extent, verbal and written recognition for a job well done go a long way toward retaining the people you want to keep. Find out what means the most to folks. Remember that individual preferences are important. Invest in your staff enough to learn what actually makes them smile after they deliver the top notch results your organization needs. It’s worth the effort.

5. Build and nurture positive relationships with your staff.

High functioning, quality relationships with your employees is like owning blocks of gold. In fact, you can’t put a price tag on these relationships. When people feel valued, respected, and trusted, they generally want to stay in such an environment. You can bet they’ll think twice about searching available jobs online. Chances are good that they’ll want to stick close to you. Fat compensation elsewhere doesn’t guarantee a great relationship with the boss.

6. Be conscious of work-life balance issues.

Don’t lose sight of the reality that everybody has a life outside of the office. Most people care about their marriages, kids, extended family, friends, and community involvement. Caring translates into spending time with these folks. One of the best things you can do is demonstrate your interest in and concern for employees’ time when they aren’t with you. Support their choice to go home by 6:00 PM.

7. Connect work contributions to a higher purpose.

This strategy asks you as the CEO, Vice President, or Department Head to find out what makes your top talent tick. What gets their juices flowing? What inspires them to be the best they can be? Once you know the answers to these questions, you can link the work they do to their higher purpose or calling. While this may sound strange, it’s critical to consider. People are driven by what is most important to them. Engage in these sorts of meaningful conversations.

Retaining Top Talent: 7 Tips
By Sylvia D. Hepler

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