hiring and managing top talents

How to Manage Top Talent

Every company has a program designed to help its high-potential individuals thrive, as they can have an enormous impact on future business results. Top talent is highly sensitive and easily lost. Therefore, retaining and managing it is vital. These individuals can be freelancers or full-time employees, this does not affect the overall outcome and solutions. Establishing a successful client-freelancer relationship or an employer-employee relationship is the first step is retaining top talent.

On the other hand, job-hopping is a trend that affects all organizations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ data in 2018, American workers are changing jobs every 4 to 4.3 years. For younger workers, it is every 2.8 years.

Here are 4 tips to retain top-end talent and establish a successful relationship with them:

  1. Support employees’ growth

The most important reason cited by younger workers for job-hopping is growth. They want to experience a diverse workplace and enhance their personal and professional skills.

Providing employees with meaningful and challenging work and giving them sufficient feedback will keep them committed. Engaged employees want to make sure they are not wasting their time. They appreciate helpful performance feedback.

Driven employees are constantly pursuing development and growth. Good managers value their employees’ goals and aspirations. They indulge them in the projects by giving them information and asking their opinions. If the employees feel like their perspectives are considered, they will work harder and provide more valuable input.

The biggest obstacle for top-end talent is the lack of opportunity. They stay motivated by anticipating bigger challenges continuously. If they are not provided with enough of them, they will simply seek them somewhere else. It is better to lean towards providing top talent with more possible opportunities than less. As might be expected, this is something to handle with care. If the potential employees receive more opportunities than they can handle, they will face derailment and consequently blame their managers for that.

  1. Keep the employees engaged

In a survey done by the Corporate Executive Board in 2004, more than one in ten employees are fully disengaged. These disengaged employees are four times more likely to leave the organization than the average employee. Keeping employees and top talents engaged is keeping them committed to the organization. These individuals can outperform their peers.

One solution to avoid disengagement, especially in top talents, is having well-structured project management. Project management is the process of initiating, planning, controlling, and closing a project to achieve specific goals in a specific amount of time. Involving the high potentials in different stages of the process will keep them intrigued. Some companies send e-mail updates concerning firm performances and changes in plans. Some even keep their young potential leaders engaged by inviting them to quarterly meetings with high-level executives.

It is also important to build a high company culture. Company culture defines the environment in which employees work. It includes ethical values and behaviors that form the unique social and psychological environment of a company. For example, some companies use a storytelling practice to build a high company culture; leaders design a story that relates to their challenges and opportunities, tell the story to the employees and receive feedback, tailor the story for each specific audience, and then, re-tailor it for specific objectives.

Individuals with higher potential are more aware of their firm and its leaders. Research shows that confidence in their managers’ abilities is one of the strongest factors in keeping the top employees engaged. Therefore, managers have to keep the employees engaged by proving their competence. If the managers are committed enough, so will be their employees.

  1. Value the top employees as individuals

Every top talent strives to be a unique individual. Treating them as members of a particular class will only discourage and disappoint them, even if the class is an exalted one.

For example, if a top employee asks for maternity leave from a manager and the manager responds by saying things such as “you are a top employee, you are free to do whatever you want”, the employee is likely to walk away looking sullen. Instead, the proper response would be “if maternity leave is what you need right now, we support you 100%”. This way the employee will feel valued and unique.

  1. Compensate fairly

Compensation increases employees’ effort and their intent to stay in an organization. If the compensation fee is not fair, the companies might lose their top employees to other competitors that offer a higher wage.

Rewards, raises, and promotions are also a good motivation for top employees. Of course, they should be in line with the employees’ contributions and effort.

Compensation is the last factor on the list because if the previous ones are neglected, it does not matter how much payment is made, it will not be enough to retain the employees.

“Top talent” designation is not an acknowledgment for past or present achievements; it is mainly an assessment of future accomplishments. A firm’s most talented employees can have significant positive effects across the business. But when top talent is unengaged, unchallenged, or unrewarded, these individuals can cause serious malperformance. Therefore, they need to be properly managed by competent leaders who cultivate and nurture them. Naturally, organizations should avoid delegating down their talent management.

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