5 Tips on Managing Top Talent for Growth

A businessman is looking at a number of photo portraits on the wall

Talent management is important. Could that be you in the photo above…considering the talent you have, the talent you’d like to have and the talent you need to grow?

Before you make major decisions regarding your talent management strategy, you’d be wise to read through the following common talent management mistakes that too many leaders make. They incorrectly assume that current high performers:

  1. Will be future high performers.
    Keep in mind that you will be asking more of your current high performers than you did before. Are they capable of handling more challenging responsibilities and, if so, do they have the skills they need to do so? There are few who can step into an expanded role without a lot of help and training. Know that, out of your current pool of higher performers, only a rare few can succeed at higher and bigger roles without significant support and coaching.
  2. Are fully engaged.
    These are employees who have set challenging goals for themselves both personally and professionally. If their goals are not aligned with company goals, or if they are not as challenged as they desire, they are retention risks. In fact, our best places to work employee engagement research shows that a quarter of high potentials intend to leave their current jobs within a year and a third confess to not giving their current job their full attention and commitment. As a leader whose success is dependent upon the success of others, it is critical that you ensure your top talent has aligned goals and challenging work. Give them opportunities to participate in high level strategic planning so they have greater insight and connection into the company’s plans for the future.
  3. Need protection from failure.
    So much learning comes after a misstep or two. High potentials need to be allowed to make mistakes so they can learn from them and grow. A good part of their development should involve greater levels of scope, problem solving and decision making. That’s what good leaders do. Put high performers in meaningful situations where they must stretch, be bold and take some calculated risks.
  4. Can be adequately developed by mid-level managers.
    Once you have identified an elite group of high potentials, don’t abandon them or relegate their development to mid-level managers. They are your organization’s future and, as such, should be groomed and coached by proven company leaders who know what it takes to succeed at high levels in your unique organizational culture.
  5. Should be compensated just as others in the same role.
    High performers give more, and they rightfully expect more. This is not a time to be equal. Extra effort and higher performance deserve a differentiated level of rewards and recognition commensurate with their contribution. Our research tells us it is imperative that high performers feel that they will be recognized and rewarded if they contribute to the organization’s success if you want them to be engaged and retained.

Avoid the common talent management mistakes above as you groom your elite performers and build your leadership pipeline.

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