Career With A Purpose 11.0: Four Management Tips for Retaining Top Talent

Four Management Tips for Retaining Top Talent

Career With A Purpose 11.0


In today’s economy, with high unemployment and a shortage of full time jobs, one would think that employers would have no trouble recruiting and retaining talented men and women.

However, recent studies show that today’s work force is looking for more than a steady job and a paycheck. They are looking for things like career progress, personal appreciation, quality professional associations, and work/life balance. It’s important for employers to know this, because high employee turnover impacts office morale as well as sales and profitability. Employees build up relationships with clients—relationships that can be lost or disrupted when they leave.

More and more studies show that today’s employees can be demotivated when they sense little opportunity to grow professionally or make a personal contribution to the vision of the company. Everyone in an organization needs to see how their individual roles connect with the larger goals of the team, so that when the organization experiences success, each person on staff feels a sense of ownership and celebration.

While the need for career progress and contribution is high, another even higher need mentioned on exit surveys is the need for individual appreciation. A talented person can feel his or her career is growing in an organization, but if the boss rarely takes the personal time to show gratitude for his or her contributions, it can be demoralizing. Often employees who have left a company will mention that a simple “thank you” would have made them feel adequately appreciated. The top management person on site needs to have a warm involved relationship with his team.

In fact, relationships can be a big factor in employee retention. In addition to good relationships with management, people who are talented appreciate working with other top talent. They feel disrespected and demotivated if asked to work on a project with a teammate who lacks integrity, skill, or strong work ethic. Yes, sometimes, it’s difficult to find a replacement, but smart managers don’t keep people on the payroll who demoralize the team.

A fourth tip for retaining top talent is allowing flexibility for work/life balance. As the millennium generation becomes fully engaged in the work force, as they marry and have children, researchers tell us they may value quality time with family and friends more than they value the overtime pay of long hours. Men as well as women may be asking for flexibility in their workday schedule.

Retaining talented employees saves time, money, and morale in any organization. Since much of the prevailing wisdom for retention involves flexibility and good people management, a wise company recognizes, trains and promotes great managers.