5 tips to retain top talent

A crucial part of navigating the turbulent waters of these economic times is to be sure you keep the right crew aboard to keep your ship afloat. Organizations that lose focus on this are asking for trouble both now and in the future, if they have one.

Here are 5 tips to be sure your high flyers are flying with you:
1. Determine the motivations of top talent – How? Ask! It is important to be specific and assure questions like the following are answered by your top brass:

  • Are you happy with where your career is headed?
  • What would you like the next step in your career to be?
  • How can I/we help you get there?

Exit interviews are not the time to determine these motivations. Find out what your future leaders need now and feed those who feed your machine.

2. Make individual meetings a standard – Another common fumble by companies is that they don’t make individual updates a cultural consistency. They do back flips for their clients yet don’t look inward and pay special attention to those who drive business and pump oxygen into their organization. Meeting with your folks 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 – One of the biggest challenges for execs is to let go because all that happens under their jurisdiction is their responsibility. Remember that your emerging leaders want to be challenged and be given assignments that utilize their talent. This is how they learn. Let go and show trust and you will be surrounded with a higher performing team.

4. Become a teaching executive – Even the brightest executives have never been taught the fundamental rule of adult learning: Teaching hasn’t occurred until learning is confirmed. Telling isn’t teaching and execs must know that even the brightest talent may process information differently than they do. Be sure you are patient and aligned as you develop and confirm that understanding has happened.

5. Share knowledge – In the absence of feedback, people create their own and it’s typically negative. Execs must keep their folks abreast of what’s going on, regularly! Provide knowledge which is different from data. Data is merely “the what.” Knowledge is “the what, the why and the how they play a vital role to change and growth.” Keep your top talent informed and you will keep morale high and these key players passionate about sticking around.
Joe Takash, a behaviour strategist, is the author of the new book Results Through Relationships: Building Trust, Performance and Profit Through People, as well as a sought-after media resource and keynote speaker. As the founder of performance management firm Victory Consulting, Joe has worked with clients like American Express, Prudential, Century 21 and General Motors. Results Through Relationships can be purchased at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com and ordered through any major bookseller. Visit Joe’s site at www.JoeTakash.com.