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Strategies To Keep Key Employees As The Economy Improves

As the economy improves, employment also shifts from an employers’ to candidates’ market. 

Therefore, it is advantageous for companies to smartly use key engagement tools like effective succession management, learning and development, and competitive compensation to strengthen their retention program.

According to Nita White-Ivy, Chief People Officer of SuccessFactors, highly engaged and fully utilized talents do not easily move with improvement in the economy.

White-Ivy says companies need to look for signs from employees that they are looking to leave. The usual signs are there:  disengagement, higher absenteeism and disability claims, preoccupation with social media and non-work related sites. 

  • Among the strategies she offers as tools for companies to use to keep key talent: Making decisions about development and compensation based on transparent, objective criteria can go a long way to reduce the flight risk around your best employees.
  • Managers need to approach goals as a tool for engaging and developing employees, not merely getting work done.
  • Effective goal setting is not just about telling employees what the company needs them to do. Instead, it requires striking a balance between what the organization needs to accomplish, what employees can do, and what employees want to get out of their jobs. It’s about assigning goals so employees understand how they will benefit from achieving them.

White-Ivy points to one of the greatest Olympic skiers of all time, Jean-Claude Killy,who  once said, “The fastest way to learn a sport is to watch and imitate a champion.”

White-Ivy says one of the best ways companies can retain their key talents and contributors is to know who they are, fully engaged them, and treat and reward them well for the great results they bring. 

Spreading compensation around evenly – the “peanut butter approach” – does nothing to engage top performers or improve business outcomes. 

Companies with engagement, recognition, reward and talent management programs that support their business goals are much more likely to retain top performers.

In the end, retaining your best staff requires an integrated and end-to-end approach to talent management – from recruiting and onboarding, to performance and learning management, development and succession planning, social business collaboration, workforce planning, and analytics, etc.


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