Why is Retaining Top Talent Critical to your Organizations Success?  

According to the April 2016 Forbes Magazine as well as Manpower Group’s 2015 , the skills needed in the job market have been altered by rapid globalization and technological change while the labor pool shrinks. Organizations are facing a talent shortage and at the same time, new generations in the workplace are comfortable making job changes every year or two.

Harvard’s Corporate Leadership Council studied more than 20,000 employees dubbed “emerging stars” in more than 100 organizations worldwide over the past six years, exploring how they viewed their employers, how they were managed, and how they reacted to changes in the economy. Their results showed that “management teams stumble badly when they try to develop their next generation of leaders.”

How can you ensure that you and your leaders are not stumbling? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you developing managers who understand what it takes to keep people motivated and engaged in their work?
  • Do your managers understand the importance of “Re-recruiting” current employees – encouraging them to stay versus look elsewhere for new opportunities?
  • Do they know how?

How to Retain Top Talent

1.     Have “Stay” Conversations

The easiest and most fun way to retain your top performers is to tell them you want them to stay. Have you ever had anyone tell you how valuable you are? Have you ever had someone tell you that they see you as a critical asset to the organization or the team?

It feels amazing to be acknowledged like this and these simple conversations build commitment and loyalty. They energize people and solidify relationships.

During this conversation, you want to tell people specifically how you see them adding value. For example: “Joe, I probably don’t say this enough, but I want you to know that I have noticed when you are in the office, the team is more focused and more productive. I appreciate how you not only exceed your goals, but also help others when they are stuck.”

“Stay” conversations show employees you want them to stay and stay engaged in meaningful work. They are a win-win for you and your top talent.  They encourage development of your employees’ strengths while also retaining them so they can continue to contribute.

Your top performers are the ones who will help lead you through times of change while other organizations see talent churning.

These types of career conversations include four key areas:

  • Acknowledging contributions
  • Asking about interests for growth and development
  • Sharing how you see their development aligning with the organizational priorities
  • Asking how you can support their continued growth
  • Saying thank you for their contributions

2.     Listening to Rerecruit

Listening is a coaching skill that managers can learn and develop and when people feel heard, they are more engaged and committed. When managers learn to listen fully without judging, fixing, or making wrong, employees feel valued and they stay and they stay engaged.

 What holds leaders back from listening?

Many think it takes too much time, but that is only because they haven’t built this competency. When leaders truly learn to listen, they can leverage employees’ talents which leads to improved productivity while increasing retention.

3. Coaching Questions to Retain Talent

 When leaders learn to listen, it moves them toward using a coach approach. This approach helps employees learn to assess their own work and take responsibility for their growth.

In order to feel more confident using a this approach with your employees, you will not only need to improve your listening skills, but get used to asking coaching questions instead of giving answers. Here are some questions that you can start with.

  • What do you like about working here?
  • What are the most important factors in your job satisfaction?
  • What can we do better?
  • What type of work do you enjoy?
  • What would you like to learn next?
  • How can I support you?

Over time, employees learn how to ask themselves these questions on an ongoing basis. They set new goals and are eager to contribute to organizational goals.

Results: Employees Grow – Organizations Grow

By re-recruiting, listening and using a coach approach, individuals feel valued and organizations retain top performers who are more committed than ever to strategic priorities.

Talent Shortage Survey

LifeWorks stands with all of those working toward racial justice and equity.

We vow to listen and learn in order to be agents of change both through the work we do and how we live.

We stand in solidarity with the BIPOC communities in Milwaukee and across the country.