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Got Talent? Here Is How to Keep It

Posted by Anh Mai on Nov 17, 2011 4:25:00 PM

talent managementHave you lost any good employee talent recently? Do you think the loss was necessary?  Was the defection for the purpose of a better opportunity, or because they “checked out” of your organization? 

Employees leave for a variety of reasons Of course, we can expect that regardless of the person, sooner or later they are likely to move on.  Let’s face it.  You and I have long-term career needs, too.  If they were perceived as impossible in your current situation, you would move on too, right?

Leaders can mitigate the losses incurred with employee defection if we address most of the needs (or perceived needs) that cause our employees to head for the door. The loss of one employee can be infectious; if there doesn’t seem to be a valid reason.

We all know that good employees tend to leave before the bad ones.  Logic follows that if you are not maintaining the valuable employees longer or are unable to infuse the company with more valuable resources over time, your resources will dry up, de-energizing the whole operation. 

Let’s focus on the experienced worker, who carries with them wisdom, historical knowledge of the organization, and staff who are more loyal to them than to the organization itself. Talented workers are the ones who remain in demand in this economy.  

Why do waves of turnover take us by surprise?  Because we weren’t paying attention. 

Check in personally with your key experienced personnel on an intermittent basis. Take their satisfaction temperature. The fact is that once people have “checked out” it is difficult to bring them back into the fold. 

Do yourself a favor and catch disillusionment before it really incubates.Disenchanted or resentful employees (experienced or not) can take a long, slow path to leaving the company. This can be even worse than an “I’m outta here” mentality. The negative impact on group morale from this kind of excruciating exit process is hard to shake. 

Help your experienced workers want to stay. Ask them for their advice, including them in decision-making when possible, and offering them flexibility.  Engagement is key. Withdrawal is the enemy. As withdrawal calcifies, a return to positive, engaged involvement is difficult to regain. 

Reassess compensation for your experienced team members. Giving up a small amount of your budget here can pay off exponentially in a valuable resource retained. 

Do your experienced workers know everything? It may seem that way. They really don’t need any training, right? Wrong. Involve them in any new technology developments, changes or shifts in how you handle clients or product development.  Look at your own organization and consider whether you have taken your experienced staff or managers for granted, leaving them out of the newer, more exciting projects. 

Sometimes, even though these efforts have been made, your employee lets you know that he or she is leaving anyway. The best reaction is to send them on their way with your blessings, and use the exit interview as a learning activity for yourself and your organization.

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Topics: Workplace Management, Team Management, Employee Retention

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