Rethink and Retain Top Talent

top talent leavingFew things in business are as costly and disruptive as unexpected talent departures. With all the emphasis on leadership development, it is always interesting why so many companies seem to struggle with being able to retain their top talent. Do companies have anything in place to retain top talent? As with most things in the corporate world, there is too much process built upon theory and not nearly enough practice built on experience.

Companies need to tune into the culture and results.  Too often it is all about the rhetoric and the commentary. More often than not, the employee does not respect the person they report to. Many times they have a different value system. An employee may feel that their career goals are not aligned with the plans that the company maintains. One of the biggest complaints, however, is that they do not feel appreciated by their employer. Many contend that employees do not quit working for a company; they quit working for their supervisors or bosses. For those employers who think everything is under control, it is time to rethink. Regardless of tenure, position, or title, employees who voluntarily leave generally do so out of some type of perceived disconnect with the leadership.

Employees thrive on the challenge, engagement, value and reward- emotionally and financially. Smart companies align employee passions with corporate pursuits. Human nature makes it very difficult to walk away from areas of passion. Fail to understand this and you will unknowingly be encouraging employees to seek their passions elsewhere. Companies need to challenge the intellect of their smart employees. Great talent is wired differently. Their creativity cannot be stifled. They need an atmosphere where they can innovate. Allow them the opportunity to “think outside of the box”.

Leadership isn’t a destination – it’s a continuum. No matter how smart or talented a person is, there’s always room for growth, development, and continued maturation. If you place restrictions on a person’s ability to grow, they’ll leave you for someone who won’t. Talented people have good thoughts, ideas, insights, and observations. Allow them to use their thoughtful insights. The best testament to the value of leadership is what happens in its absence – very little. If you fail to lead, your talent will seek leadership elsewhere.

At every level, there needs to be robust leadership in place. A lack of strong, consistent management is a prevalent reason for an employee exodus.

Source: Jackson, Eric. “Top Ten Reasons Why Large Companies Fail To Keep Their Best Talent.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 14 Dec. 2011. Web. 05 Mar. 2013.

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