How To Keep Top Employees Engaged–and From Leaving
A study last year by the Corporate Executive Board indicated that “25 percent of employer-identified, high-potential employees plan to leave their current companies within the year, as compared to only 10 percent in 2006.” The study also found that 40% of the internal job moves for high potentials ended in failure.
In a recent post, “Poaching: One of The Newest Talent Management Concerns,” I talked about how poaching is affecting companies across the nation that have already hired and invested in the employees they want and love. The post concluded with, “Having a solid performance management program is what will help you retain and grow your top talent.” So, now that you know the best offense is a good defense, here are two things to consider.
Know the DNA of High Potential Employees
As an employer, and especially as someone in the HR department, it’s your job to know your company’s high potential employees and how critical they are to the company’s success and growth. It’s up to you and your team to be able to answer these questions:
- What drives high potentials?
- How does your organization identify a successful future leader?
- How do you plan to identify these game changers beyond the use of competency profiling?
- What unique qualities and traits differentiate these employees?
There are typically many high potential candidates in an organization. However, many will be unsuitable to lead the business. It’s up to you to identify your top talent and develop them into high achievers– people who embrace a changing environment and shape the future.
Discover the Drivers of High Potential Employees
Looking back at the first bullet, the second piece of the pie is knowing what drives these high potential employees once you’ve identified them.
Does this sound familiar? The annual employee survey is complete and HR is not surprised by the results: Employees still feel they are not being heard, think their company lacks career development opportunities, and want better understanding of job expectations.
Houston, we have a problem.
If most employees feel this way, chances are your high potential employees do as well. Your company needs to create the following:
- A clear definition of what employee engagement means for your organization. Remember, what can’t be clearly defined can’t be measured.
- Best practices for implementing engagement initiatives that improve performance, collaboration and feelings of connectedness in a company.
- Segmentation of employees where necessary. Diverse employees and different generations are engaged by different things, if this is true at your company make sure you have a clear understanding of this and have initiatives that support your different segments.
Employee engagement is an ongoing, evolving process. What works for one company may not work for another. I’d like it if you’d share what has (and even hasn’t) worked for you and your company. In the meantime, here are some resources you might find of use:
- Event: Talent Management Executive Forums (Austin and Houston)- Join these roundtable discussions covering “Discovering the DNA of High Potential Employees” and “Discovering the 10 Drivers of Employee Engagement.”
- White Paper Download: What is employee engagement? Learn more in our white paper, “Talent Management’s Impact on Employee Engagement.”
- Blog Post: See how talent management can help you retain your high potentials, “Poaching: One of The Newest Talent Management Concerns.”
- Read more about performance management challenges and solutions here.
- Blog Post: See how talent management activities might be implemented in three different types of organizations, “How Mature is your Talent Management Process.”
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