Employers worried about retaining high performers: Survey

5 tips to retain top talent

As global economies begin to climb out of the recession, more and more organizations are turning their focus to the retention of top talent, according to a survey.

The survey of 201 large organizations by Watson Wyatt found 65 per cent of employers are more concerned about the retention of critical -skill and top-performing employees than they were before the economic crisis hit.

Looking ahead three to five years, 50 per cent of employers expect an increase in difficulty in attracting critical-skill employees and 55 per cent expect an increase in difficulty in retaining critical-skill employees.

In light of the recession, 44 per cent of employers have encouraged managers to make greater use of recognition plans. However, only eight per cent of these employers have seen managers actually increase their use of these plans to a significant or great extent.

Joe Takash, author of Results Through Relationships: Building Trust, Performance and Profit Through People, has five tips to help organizations retain top talent:

1. Determine the motivations of top talent. Exit interviews are not the time to determine these motivations. Find out what future leaders need now and give it to them. The following questions are a good starting point:

• Are you happy with where your career is headed?

• What would you like the next step in you career to be?

• How can we help you get there?

2. Make individual meetings standard. Many companies don’t make individual updates a cultural consistency. They do back flips for clients yet don’t look inward and pay special attention to those who drive business and pump oxygen into the organization. Meeting with employees individually recognizes their importance and provides a wonderful forum for discovering what they may not disclose in a group meeting.

3. Delegate and give responsibility. This can be a big challenge for executives. Remember emerging leaders want to be challenged and be given assignments that utilize their talent. This is how they learn. Executives who let go and show trust will be surrounded with a higher performing team.

4. Become a teaching executive. Telling isn’t teaching and executives must know that even the brightest talent may process information differently. Executives need to be patient as they develop employees and confirm that understanding has happened.

5. Share knowledge. In the absence of feedback, people create their own and it’s typically negative. Executives must regularly keep employees informed about what’s going on. Provide knowledge, which is different from data. Data is merely “the what.” Knowledge is the what, the why and the how employees play a vital role in the success of the organization. Keep top talent informed and morale will stay high, which will keep these key players passionate about sticking around.

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