Three Tips for Retaining Your Top Talent

Three Tips for Retaining Your Top Talent

Investing in your top talent and playing an active role in developing their careers will motivate them to stay around.

Company loyalty is a thing of the past. In today’s day and age, everyone is looking for the next best thing, and that is true in the workplace as well. But this doesn’t mean that retention of top talent is hopeless.

Accenture conducted a cross-industry study and determined the top four reasons employees quit their jobs:

  1. Lack of recognition (43%)
  2. Internal politics (35%)
  3. Lack of empowerment (31%)
  4. Don’t like boss (31%)

Companies have work to do to create a positive workplace experience, where employees feel challenged and valued. So where do you begin? Retaining top talent can be challenging, but it is possible. Here are three tips for keeping your top talent around longer.

Treat them as individuals

This seems like a pretty basic rule. But if you think about it, top management often gets treated as an elite group. Often times these talented members of your company spend their careers trying to be innovative and cutting edge, so it’s important for them to feel like they are valued and unique. Roger L. Martin, former dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, offers a relevant anecdote:

A top consultant, one of the firm’s 15 or so global account managers, approached me to ask for paternity leave (a benefit that’s now fairly standard, but 20-odd years ago was rare). I readily replied, “Sure. You’re a GAM. At your level, you can do pretty much whatever you want.” He said “OK,” and walked off, looking sullen. I was taken aback: He had asked for something, and I had given it to him. … This consultant wanted to hear: “We care about you and what you need. If paternity leave is the thing that is particularly important to you, we support you 100%.”

Martin witnessed first-hand the effects of treating this manager as part of a class, instead of as an individual. Stepping back and realizing that top talent need to be treated as individuals can add to their feeling valued within your company.

Develop from within

As more money and talent flood into the supply chain, it will be important to avoid the Silicon Valley problem of poaching, or employees leaving for larger salaries elsewhere. Investing in current employees in a meaningful, attentive way could make all the difference.

Think about your rising stars’ futures and next steps within your company. They probably have a plan, and you should as well. Make sure those plans align, and be open to assisting their journey to meet their goals.

Ask specific questions about what it takes to create the environment that would help encourage your talent’s best performance. Ask what works, and also ask what doesn’t work. Be specific and ask what causes your talent anxiety or stress. Investment is a big part of development. It helps talent feel like part of a bigger picture. If you invest in them, they will invest in you.

Encourage flexibility

Gone are the days of strict office hours, and in its place are flexibility and mobility for the workplace.

When companies allow their employees some flexibility, they become happier and more productive. With technology at our fingertips, and all the options that provides, employees expect to work from a location of their choosing, whether it be home, a library, or a coffee shop. Millennials rank this kind of flexibility highly among factors that make companies appealing places to work.

Don’t sit back and assume your employees are willing to be passive about their careers.  See your employees as assets. Have a strategy. Be part of their team, and make them part of yours. See their talent and invest in them. Otherwise they’ll find another supply chain company that will.

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