They are always out there…the poachers who would love to pluck your top talent from the nest you have provided for them. It is your job to feather that nest in a way that your high performers are not even tempted by other opportunities.
Poaching used to be defined as the illegal hunting of wild animals, usually associated with land rights. In the corporate world, it is the act of snatching an employee from a competitor with the lure of a better offer. It happens and it happens frequently. There’s a lot of buzz about how ethical this practice is in the workplace. We think that, rather than worry about what others are doing, your efforts are better spent making sure that your top talent is happy and challenged where they are.
What we have found in our two decades of work in the employee engagement training field may surprise you. The “feathers” that work to keep your top talent aboard are not higher pay but a compelling organizational culture that suits them. This is how you can compete with those other offers and keep your “A” players happily engaged and on your high performing team.
Here are 3 ways you can guard against the poaching of your critical talent:
1. Take informal “happiness” surveys often
The operative words here are “informal” and “often.” Make sure you check in with your top folks on a regular basis to find out what they are thinking and what they might change. This is simple common sense. Have good conversations about what they are doing on the job that excites them, what other challenges they would welcome, where they want to grow and what is most frustrating for them.
In addition to a proven annual employee engagement survey, ask for their ideas on ways to improve and listen carefully. Show that you value them by enacting the suggestions that make sense for you, for them, and for the company. By the way, this is not a technique that is reserved just for your top talent. It comes directly from employee engagement training and works for all employee levels. It should be a key component of your regular one-on-one meetings with your direct reports.
2. Set up your culture as a positive differentiator
Think of culture as how things truly get done in your organization – the way people think, behave and work. This includes the known and unspoken values and assumptions that drive key business practices and behaviors – especially in leaders and in who they hire, fire and promote. The more aligned your talent is with your culture, the more engaged they will be. The message? Be intentional about creating your organizational culture. Make it unique and genuine so it would be difficult to copy.
Let your company become known for the culture you adopt…like Zappos is known for wowing their customers or Southwest is known for making air travel more fun.
3. Engage them with a compelling vision
When we talk to high performers, they always mention the importance of the what the company is trying to achieve and their strong desire to play an integral part in those plans. We define a company’s vision as “What we hope to become…the business we will be in tomorrow.” A compelling vision paints a clear picture of the future that you hope to create. It defines where you want to go and what it will be like when you get there. The more detailed it is, the more compelling it will be.
To increase employee engagement levels, give shape and direction to the company’s future and be clear about how your high performers specifically fit into those future plans. The goal is to make sure that your top talent will be intrigued and challenged enough to want to see that goal realized. Done right, it can be the glue that keeps them where they are and safe from any poaching attempts.
We consider LSA Global our outsourced learning and development partner. We worked closely with LSA to customize a management development program to meet our growing business needs. I would highly recommend LSA to any company wanting to deliver quality learning solutions.
Vice President Human Resources
On behalf of Roche and my staff I would like to sincerely thank you for your help with this. The English as a Second Language (ESL) assessment and coaching that you provided for our team was a great success.
LSA’s Employee Engagement Consulting and Survey work has provided critical visibility into: how well our people are holding up under the general economic environment, as well as, the specific challenges that face biotechnology companies in their efforts to discover and develop new medicines; their level of alignment and commitment to XOMA’s Vision and mission critical strategies; how leadership practices and management systems support an environment that engender commitment, and the specific actions that our leaders can take to improve on areas that are important to our people. I highly recommend LSA’s employee engagement solutions.
Vice President, HR and IT
We recently partnered with LSA Global to offer our Supervisors and Managers a customized two-day management training program. Everyone who attended said it was by far the best management training program they had ever attended. The content was rich and highly interactive. The case studies were relevant. Each participant walked away from the training much better equipped to lead their teams.
Director of Human Resources
I have worked with LSA Global at previous companies and welcomed the opportunity to bring them in to support my new organization. We worked closely with LSA to design a solution for our Client Partner Teams and Management Training on both coasts. LSA designed a customized solution for our business and organizational culture. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner that makes an impact.
Chief People Officer
LSA custom designed a Management Development program that is absolutely “on target” for our technical managers. Their facilitator has done a superb job delivering the material in a way that is fast paced, highly interactive, and fun. She presents practical solutions to the people situations that our managers face every day. I regard LSA as an excellent partner that understands our business needs and a virtual member of our HR department.
Vice President Human Resources
We recently contacted LSA Global to assist us with a unique training request. We gave LSA a very short deadline and LSA custom designed a training program to meet our exact requirements within the limited time allotted to them. We found their facilitator to be well versed in the subject matter and very credible; the design provided practical and valuable information to our team of managers. I highly recommend LSA Global, particularly in the area of management training.
Julaine K. Souza
Senior Vice President
I’ve partnered with LSA Global at two companies now, and I consider them a valuable and trusted training and consulting resource. They recommended just the right solution to address our management development needs and have wonderful facilitators that match YuMe’s culture and style of our management team. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company wanting to deliver quality learning solutions with a valuable learning and development partner.
Avon’s success is dependent on strong relationships among our Customers, Representatives, Associates, and outside resources we hire to help us meet our business objectives. We were very pleased with the results from working with LSA Global to design and facilitate a custom program for our events management team. LSA demonstrated responsiveness, flexibility, and an innovative approach to working with us.
Senior Manager, HR Destiny Sales Region
Over the years, both at 3Com and now at Redback, I’ve found LSA Global to be a valuable resource. The recent compliance program that they delivered for Redback’s executive and management team was the right solution, of the highest of quality, and customized to our business and culture. I would highly recommend LSA to any company looking for top quality solutions.
Vice President of Human Resources
LSA helped to meet the needs of my teams within a very narrow timeframe. My team walked away with highly useful management tools and practices. LSA saved us time in delivering the right solution for our specific needs.
Director, Software Engineering, EPG
We have been able to utilize LSA’s extensive network of top-notch resources to leverage our investment in employee development. The result has been the cost effective and highly efficient delivery of quality educational and management training programs.
Vice President, Human Resources
The LSA Global team was very receptive and flexible to our needs every step of the way. Their staff and facilitator demonstrated attention to detail, responsiveness, and professional courtesy. The participants were thrilled with the outcome and rated the communication skills workshop and the facilitator as ‘Excellent’. I’d highly recommend working with the LSA Global team to meet your professional development needs.
LSA has been a tremendous asset to my portfolio, both at my current company and my past company. As an HR leader, I am always looking for ways to find external resources that can provide a solution to our management training needs. LSA does that for me. Their solutions are presented in a much more leadership-oriented manner so as to be crisp, business relevant, and easy to apply right back on the job. I will continue to augment our programs using LSA solutions.
VP of Human Resources
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