Throughout my career, I’ve found that there are several issues that occur across all businesses and all industries. This issue is how to retain your most valuable people (MVP). This is the reason I’ve chosen this topic for my next blog series.
In business, employee turnover is a re-occurring challenge. Employees change jobs for a variety of reasons. Some people leave for personal reasons, others leave because they feel it is the only way to advance their careers. They leave your company because of bosses. Regardless of the reason, regardless of the business, and regardless of the industry, losing top talent can and will negatively impact the performance of your business.
Businesses go about talent retention in different ways. For example, some provide retention bonuses, others have elaborate programs designed to nurture their rising stars. Unfortunately, many of these fail (reasons will be covered in upcoming blogs). The truth is, to retain your top talent, you need to have a crystal-clear understanding of the needs of your business. Then find the talent that will help fill those needs. Keep in mind the needs of your business are likely to change over time. Therefore, the qualities, skills and knowledge companies look for in their top talent candidates should as well.
Defining Your Top Talent
There are a few qualities that should be present in all your top talent candidates; such as capability, potential, intellect and aspiration. Your top talent definition should be built around a foundation that fits your business. Make sure your employee retention efforts are tailored to the individual. Specifically, in that you want to identify individuals possessing these foundational qualities. More broadly, you shouldn’t focus solely on filling future leadership, management and key knowledge worker vacancies with “the most productive workers”. As an example, just because an employee is a top performing specialist now, doesn’t ensure future success in a management or leadership position.
Have you taken a deep look at your business to identify areas where there is a current or future need for improvement? Are you looking for individuals who exhibit exemplary innovative and creative problem-solving skills? Additionally, you might want to include other qualities in your definition such as strong work ethic, curiosity, attitude, compatibility with company culture, and emotional intelligence.
Ultimately, how you define the criteria of your top talent is entirely your decision and will be unique to your business. If you’d like to discuss ways to increase employee retention in your business, contact me.