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Strengthen your retaining wall for top talent

How to make appraisals a waste of time

It’s Monday morning, you’re sitting at your desk and your star employee Sarah sheepishly enters your office, clutching an envelope, undoubtedly containing her resignation. Damn it.

You had secretly feared this moment. Sarah is one of your top performers, not only that, your clients love working with her and she’s a team leader. Someone you had big plans for in the future of your business.

Does this sound familiar?

Many companies have great talent, and as employers we often earmark these individuals for key roles in the future of our businesses. We want to keep staff that have worked hard and had a lot of time and money invested in them.

But all too often we fear this talent will inevitably be looking to move on, motivated only by a higher salary or extra fringe benefits.

However, in reality, the power to retain our top talent is often at our fingertips: managing employee expectations through appropriate training and development.

Of course, managing talent can take on a range of different meanings for different firms. It can mean succession planning, or seamlessly integrating efforts to attract, develop and retain the best people.

Either way, retaining top talent requires a plan or programme that has commitment from everyone involved.

The objectives of such a plan or programme should centre upon:

• preparing employees for promotion to higher levels of responsibility,
• preparing them for future challenges,
• identifying, capturing and passing on institutional wisdom,
• pinpointing key social relationships and
• mentoring future successors to have access to important people.

Helping managers retain your top talent

It cannot be overstated just how important managers are in retaining top talent. That is because how a manager interacts, leads and motivates their direct reports is fundamental to how much an employee is engaged with the company.

As such, it is vital you invest in appropriate management or leadership training for managers, team leaders or supervisors. As well as improving their leadership skills and communication skills, this training will also enhance their employee engagement techniques, in turn improving retention.

As a result, you should identify gaps and opportunities to strengthen this retaining wall for top talent. You can do this by recording in your HR software which of your managers and supervisors have had appropriate leadership and management training and which need more help.

Of course, in addition to management involvement, there are a variety of effective approaches and initiatives that a company, as a whole, can undertake to keep employees engaged. For example they can:

• Establish an environment characterised by effective employer-employee communication
• Build a system of incentives, employee perks, awards and recognition
• Ensure value in employee compensation and benefits packages
• Develop challenges and an interesting slate of diverse tasks for team members
• Build an environment in which there are friendly interactions among team members
• Provide training and development

Nonetheless, as many of the above measures will remain the responsibility of a direct manager or supervisor, their own development and understanding of the effects of employee engagement will remain of paramount importance to the development of your top talent.

Article produced by Luke Bower of business training company, Dale Carnegie Training

For advice on leadership and management training for your employees visit the Dale Carnegie website to find your local office – There you can also download their FREE white papers on a variety of subjects covered in this blog. Why not try one of their FREE seminars where they give you 2 hours of FREE training at locations across the UK?

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