The Importance of Retaining your Top Talent

21st Aug , 2017

It cannot be understated – the right people are your most valuable asset. But finding them in the first place and then developing and retaining can be a challenge.

Any business coach will tell you that it is the people that will drive the success of the organisation, so it is critical to have the right people in the right places. Running a successful recruitment process is vital, as is having comprehensive retention strategies in place.

Finding Top Talent

Firstly, you must recruit the best, and unless you have the necessary experience, capability, business coaching and resources to do this successfully, you need to invest in the services of a reputable recruitment firm. This can save you time and money and also give you the option of the best candidates in the market to meet your specific requirements.

Substantially, the monetary cost to your business of hiring the wrong person far exceeds that of recruitment agency fees. This is particularly obvious once you calculate the extra costs in training, re-hiring, disruption to the business, and impact on your loyal and hardworking staff who have to pick up the slack, dragging down morale and productivity.

You also run a much higher risk profile during the period of the unsuccessful candidate’s time in the job and the replacement period. The risk to the business can be lost revenue, disenfranchised customers, impact on reputation and brand, reduced productivity, and even loss of other valuable employees depending on the circumstance.

Where to Begin

When looking for new talent, the first steps you need to take with or without a recruitment expert are:

  • Define the job description – Receive input from the line manager and HR to develop an accurate list of responsibilities, expected values, targets, skills, salary bandings, team work expected and reporting lines.
  • Make sure candidates are screened – You should aim for a strong short-list of 3-5 candidates.
  • Conduct interviews – You must define the questions relevant to the role and probe into the technical aspects and experience necessary for the role. Failure to plan this stage can lead to unnecessary delays and frustrated candidates.
  • Check references – Conducting this thoroughly is the only way to make sure the prospective employee has the technical skills required. You can also ensure their soft skills and cultural alignment are what you’re looking for. Reference checks should be done in detail and the questions should be tailored specifically around the skills and requirements for the position.
  • Test – Depending on the nature and seniority of the role, you might need to have appropriate testing performed.

The Next Steps

Once you have successfully engaged the person you consider to be the best person for the key role, the next steps are to develop, support, measure their performance, and, if they meet all the criteria, retain them.

The workforce has changed from decades gone by, and often, non-monetary factors are very important for retaining staff. These factors include:

  • Workplace flexibility
  • Career planning (where they will be in 3-5 years in the business)
  • Coaching or mentoring to increase their knowledge and potential
  • Regular performance feedback (not just at QPRs, once every 3-4 months)

Strong performers respond well to corporate support. They value being valued. A significant way to both develop and support your key people is with individual business coaching or mentoring. Not only does this inspire executives, but it provides tools to monitor their performance, development and ultimate contribution to the business’ results.

How Business Coaching Can Help

At International Business Mentors, we can individually match mentors to key executives, taking into account the skills and experience needed to help them develop and improve business performance. Furthermore, the support that a business coach provides can foster appreciation and loyalty to employers.

To better retain staff, an experienced business coach or mentor can assist business owners, leaders and senior management by aiding them to focus on retaining their best talent. This can include measuring certain areas, such as staff capability, performance culture, values, KPIs, performance appraisals, interviews, assessments, tests, and so on. Australia business coaching professionals will also be able to challenge you and give feedback, helping you avoid the pitfalls that can cause your talent to leave you prematurely.

Tips for Retention

The nature of your great talent is that they want to succeed and improve, enhance, be flexible and add value to their job and to the business.

Leadership must be at the forefront of selecting and managing their key people. It is often quoted that “employees don’t quit working for companies,they quit working for their bosses.”

Some of the practices leaders should adopt to retain their people include:

  • Facilitate employees to align their passions with corporate objectives.
  • Challenge all staff to achieve difficult outcomes and stretch them intellectually.
  • Allow them to engage in their creativity when answers are needed.
  • Care for them with appropriate remuneration, and importantly as people at an emotional level.
  • Be an effective leader and communicate the vision and mission of the organisation and how they and their job fits into that overall direction.
  • Recognise, praise and reward good people for their excellent contribution.
  • Be fair and give feedback where improvements are needed, and inspect any improvements in performance.
  • Increase staff responsibility where appropriate to grow their capability and job satisfaction.
  • Keep any commitments and promises you give, and if you cannot do this due to circumstance, discuss this with staff to get them back on side.
  • Give your people a voice. Listen to their good thoughts, ideas, insights and observations, and acknowledge their input into the direction of the business in the future.

Since keeping and developing your talented people is a priority in delivering your business strategy, both the people and organisational aspects of the business will demand continuous review and improvement and significant effort by all leaders in the organisation.

With the help of a suitable business coach or mentor from International Business Mentors, you can put in place the appropriate processes that are invaluable mechanisms to ensure you have the right people who will in turn contribute to the success of your business. Call International Business Mentors today on (03) 8686 9192 to learn more.

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