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Keeping talent on side

Ben Barlow

These days, average employees are easy to find, as the hyper-competitive nature of today’s economy has squeezed them out of many workplaces in favor of highly motivated and talented workers. Article from Ben Barlow.

When it comes to the best employees, however, it is still hard to find intelligent, motivated, and hardworking individuals that can change the face of a business. In positions such as share dealing and in certain programming disciplines, competition for the best talent is cutthroat. Once a business has found their linchpins, how can they retain them for as long as possible? Below, we will outline our best advice on how companies can make these rock stars happy.

Make them feel like an asset
Above all else, employees want to feel that they are an asset to the company that they are working for rather than a liability. If they are made to feel that their position is valued instead of simply being a line item on an accountant’s balance sheet, they will be able to focus on doing their best work for the organization that hired them. Getting to know them on a first-name basis, asking for their input on business or workplace issues, and granting them autonomy to make certain decisions on their own will go a long way towards making them feel like a member of the team, rather than just another labour expense.

Keep the lines of communication open
Human resource managers that keep their best employees in the dark on workplace issues will inevitably breed mistrust between them and management. This can create misunderstandings that are easily avoidable; by keeping the lines of communication open, employees will have a reliable picture of what is going on with the company instead of having to rely on rumors. HR managers should make an effort to ask best talent for suggestions on workplace policies and business strategy, but it is imperative that they actually heed their suggestions. If they do the exact opposite of what they suggest, this act can have a ruinous effect on morale, which can eventually lead to the loss of top talent.

Provide opportunities for learning and advancement
When dealing with A-list employees, it is important to realize that these driven individuals are constantly on the outlook for the first opportunity that will vault them into high-level positions in their field. If a company wishes to retain its best employees going into the future, they need to provide them with the opportunity to learn new skills and to advance into higher positions within a reasonable time frame. If they need to take night classes in order to upgrade their skills and credentials, provide them with the tuition money that they require. Let them to pursue passion projects of mutual benefit on company time. Find/create advanced roles for them, and make them aware of how they can continue to advance within the company in the years ahead. By undertaking these measures and others, HR managers will give high-level talent every opportunity to advance their career without having to jump ship to a competitor.

Recognise them for a job well done
In many workplaces, employees only hear from their managers when they have made mistakes. Every other effort, whether it is exemplary or mediocre, is met with silence. This can have a depressive effect on morale, which can lead to high turnover among top performers if this situation isn’t addressed in a timely manner. While it is vital to address errors so that they are not repeated, recognising and reinforcing excellent work behaviours is just as important.  Contrary to the perception that providing positive feedback encourages laziness, enthusiastically recognising great efforts will have the effect of motivating them to work harder and longer on the projects that are placed in front of them.

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