Are You in Danger of Losing Top Talent?

losing top talent roller coaster with dangerous gap

Losing Top Talent Can Derail your Strategy
If you want to avoid losing top talent, fill your company’s leadership pipeline.  In fact, one of an executive team’s most important strategies for the future growth and health of the organization is to build leadership capabilities for key roles.  Yet few companies do this well.

Select the Right High Potentials
They may identify high potential employees and have a HiPo program to groom them, but their selection criteria are often flawed and generic programs typically miss the mark. If you have chosen a few stars to ride the roller coaster to the top, make sure you have reviewed the following tips on how to do it right.

  1. Choose High Performers Carefully
    In singling out high performers for special treatment, be sure you consistently and fairly apply the right criteria. Certainly they need to have the ability. But many companies make the mistake of assuming that the ability to perform well in their current job qualifies them to perform well in other, broader and more significant roles.

    As best you can, make sure they have the technical, emotional, and intellectual capabilities that strong leaders need to succeed in progressively higher level and more complex positions. Then assess their true level of engagement with your company. You should not assume that they are as committed to the organization as you are to them.

    Our own employee engagement research tells us that up to 25% of high potentials expect to be looking for another job within the year.  Additionally, clients tell us that as many as 20% of high potentials do not believe that their personal goals align with what the company plans for them.

    These statistics highlight a serious disconnect and a big opportunity.

  2. Treat High Potentials Well
    In terms of rewards and recognition, high potentials should earn more because they add more value. Even when times are tough, your top talent should be regularly rewarded in any way that you can. High potentials count on being noticed and appreciated for their contributions and should receive the greatest share of the rewards.

    To make sure you are not at risk of losing top talent, treat them specially but do not protect them from the realities and challenges ahead. They should have important assignments that test their flexibility, willingness to learn, and ability to handle risk, failure and stress.

  3. Share Information and Involve in Future Corporate Strategies
    To keep high potentials engaged, give them opportunities to be actively involved in the future direction of the company. High performers need to feel confidence in senior management and in the plans going forward.

    When they are given access to information and an active role in planning the company’s strategic direction, they are much more committed to staying loyal.  To make sure you are not at risk of losing top talent, invite them into the executive suite to learn and grow about what it takes to perform at the next level.

The Bottom Line
Engaging and retaining top talent matters. Don’t risk losing top talent. Select your rising stars thoughtfully, recognize them with special rewards, and challenge them to help build the company in a way that keeps them aboard.

To learn more about retaining your top talent, download 2 Steps for Every CHRO to Retain Top Performers

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