There are few things in business that are as disruptive as the unexpected and untimely departure of top talent. For this exact reason, if you ask any person in a position of leadership, they’ll likely tell you they have a sound process in place for retaining and developing their talent in order to avoid that. Oftentimes though, these formal processes are based on theory, not necessary experience or fact.
The truth is, employees in general, including top talent, don’t necessarily quit working for a company, they quit working for their bosses. And they don’t tend to quit because you’re lacking a formal development or training program. Often, those employees who voluntarily leave, do so out of some type of perceived disconnect with leadership.
This means the real challenge is not in creating a formal process for developing talent but, to create an organizational culture where employees truly feel valued and engaged. Because employees who are challenged, engaged and feel valued and rewarded by leadership, tend to stay, and also tend to perform well. But those with a perceived lacking in any of these crucial areas, tend to leave.
Here are a few things you can do to mitigate this risk:
Top talent is typically made up of intelligent people, who get bored if they’re not challenged. Boredom means disengaged and disengagement means departure.
Top talent has an innovative spirit. They’re seeking to improve and enhance and always looking for ways to iterate and provide value. Providing opportunities for contribution and allowing freedom to to grow and learn more is a necessity for retaining them.
Listen to Them
Top talent is bursting with ideas that they want to voice. If you silence them, or fail to recognize their contributions, they’ll find someone else to listen to their insights and observations and to give them fair credit.
Retaining top talent can be a challenge because most leadership approaches it from the wrong angle. It’s not a question of formal processes or training and development necessarily. It’s about creating an authentic culture of innovation, contribution and engagement. A culture where top talent feels recognized and valued. Though this approach may be more difficult and can often take more time and effort, its effectiveness cannot be understated.