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How to Find & Retain Your Top Talent

by Michelle Fleckner / September 21, 2017

4 Principles You can Employ Now

If one of your main priorities is to keep your top talent and maintain employee retention, then here are a four principles to consider as you put your strategy in place. First, present your best talent with a clear vision of the role they will play in the future of your company. Second, rather than monitor their every move, trust your best talent to make you proud. Third, give them high-level recognition, not simply a pat on the back. Fourth and finally, challenge them with tasks and projects that allow them to test their talent and rise to the next level. Let's take a closer look at each of these four ways to keep best talent from looking elsewhere:

1. Present them with a clear vision

This is especially important during the recruiting and hiring stage. Starting with the job description and the initial interview, make it very clear what the role will entail. Too much time is spent during the interview asking the prospect about themselves. Just as important is the employer sharing exactly what they're looking for, and where this role will take the prospect over the coming year and beyond. Without a clear vision of what's ahead, your finest talent may end up walking away, or not knowing what their signing up for. Either way, you lose in the end. So be crystal-clear upfront, and don't let ambiguity get the best of you or your talent.

2. Trust them to deliver

If you don't trust your best talent to deliver, then they're going to pick up on that and resent it. Such a scenario can only lead to an eventual split, and your premier talent finding work elsewhere. Therefore, trust your five-star talent to make you proud; to stay late or leave early as needed to find the right work-life balance; to always have the company's best interests at heart; and above all, to do the superb job you hired them for.

This is not to say that there will never be a bad apple in your pool of premium talent. However, if you monitor and micromanage them, expecting frequent progress and status updates, you may find your strategy backfiring. Give them the freedom and latitude of someone you trust, on the other hand, and you may find that your premier talent not only appreciates it, but performs all the better because of it.

3. Give them high-level recognition

Although this principle tends to go without saying, it's certainly worth repeating: give high-level recognition to your best talent. A personal pat on the back is always a welcome boost. However, if you really want to uplift your best and brightest, recognize them in front of their teams, departments and even company-wide. And not just now and then. Give them high-level recognition for each of their accomplishments and milestones as their career advances along with your company. This doesn't mean you have to give your first-class talent an endless series of trophies and awards. Simply acknowledging their superb job consistently at all-hands meetings and through company-wide emails can go a long way toward making them feel ten feet tall.

4. Challenge them

Even if you know that one of your brightest stars is lightning-fast at a particularly mind-numbing task and will finish it in half the time as anyone else on the team, think twice before giving it to them. Remember that they are probably lightning-fast at a lot of tasks, including much more challenging work. Furthermore, by challenging them, rather than simply using them, you are giving your top talent the chance to prove themselves ready for the next level, which presumably is the reason you recognized them as top talent in the first place.

Keeping top talent for good

As you think strategically about keeping your first-rate talent for years to come, the four principles above should give you a firm foundation. First, from the job description and interview onward, always present your talent with a crystal-clear vision of their role in your company. Second, resist the temptation to monitor and micromanage your best talent, and let them know you trust them to consistently make you and the whole company proud. Third, give them frequent, high-level recognition at every opportunity. Fourth and finally, no matter how good they are at a task, if it doesn't challenge them, give them one that will.

If your company is struggling with retaining top talent and want to learn more, please view this recording of our webinar, "Attracting and Engaging Talent: A Strategy to Win" in Platinum Group's free Human Capital Management and Business Enrichment Webinar Series.


This webinar discusses in depth: 

  • The causes of turnover. Identify elements of a talent acquisition strategy to attract and hire the best talent for your organization
  • Highlight tactics that can support your engagement strategy
  • Outline a framework that can help you improve your organization's success at winning the war for talent

Platinum Group is a full service human capital management (HCM) resource that allows businesses to manage their payroll, benefits compliance, track time and attendance and other various human resources functions in a way that maximizes efficiency and eliminates redundancies with the platform, iSolved. For more information about Platinum Group or to schedule a demo of iSolved please visit our website. 

Platinum Group is headquartered in Asheville, NC with locations in Charlotte, NC; Greensboro, NC; and Raleigh, NC.

Tags: Payroll & Human Resources Company Culture

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Michelle Fleckner

Michelle Fleckner

Michelle joined the team in 2017 as VP of HCM Solutions. Her interest is in helping companies identify areas where streamlining and automating would benefit their HR & Payroll departments. Her strengths are organization planning, revenue generation, customer retention & business process automation.