What do you, as an organisation, need to do to retain your top performers? Here are my top 5 suggestions:

1. Career management

The behavior that an employee has depends on where they are in their career, and different behaviors are at play at different stages. In 2001 Thite argued that organizations should provide a wide range of tools and solutions for employees to self manage their career. This can include coaching, with the main focus being an ongoing communication between the needs of the employee and the organisation.

2. Flexible employees

Generation Y is looking for a company with the right values, brand, and culture. A recent blog post by Johnson and Mohr at Harvard Business Reviews website, informs us that baby boomers are going to hold 11 jobs on average in their working life, compared to generation Y, who are projected to have worked at 14 jobs by the time they are 40. This creates a flexible workforce that has to adapt quickly to changes and be open to different solutions faster than their predecessors.

3. Flexible organisations

Providing a realistic job preview during recruitment improves retention, but a highly flexible and dynamic organisation could have difficulties with this. From the first need to hire, the organisation may have different demands to meet and need to reorganise the role. Therefore, flexible and entrepreneurial employee are more attractive. How can you help meet the increased demands of the future? Rethink HR, develop new roles with more expert knowledge, and function as a consulting department (Bersin, 2013).

4. Employee recognition

Does talent evolve? Is it innate, or is it a combination of the two? Most companies define their high performers and hope they’ll develop into stars. They spend a storage portion of the company’s resources on them, sometimes at the expense of all employees.

In a recent study of global companies, 98% of people who took the survey reported that they keep a list of high potentials and focus on identifying and developing them. In the same study, 93% reported that the high potentials get promoted faster than other employees. This approach builds on the idea of talent identification: the idea that talent develops early and high achievers will provide a better ROI (Burkus & Osula, 2011).

Employees appointed to a high potential group reported significantly greater satisfaction with training and greater motivation to continue education. It’s been found that the difference may be largely explained by the Pygmalion effect; the phenomenon that an individual’s belief in a particular outcome can provide the result. Regardless of the mechanisms of operation, research shows that appointing someone as a high potential by those in power can cause the person to become a high performer (Yarnall, 2008). Organisations can take advantage of this and educate managers on how to show their employees they believe in their skills and have faith in them performing and delivering top work. Burkus and Osula (2011)

5. Learning organisations

Global organisations aim to become learning organisations (Bersin, 2013). By providing training opportunities for all employees, they are themselves responsible for their development and can attend to this in their own pace. This may be a way for the organisation to identify individuals who show an interest and a desire to learn and develop. The trend is towards self development (Yarnall, 2008), where the person is willing to be in charge of his own learning process, and keep up with skills and competencies needed for his job.

Organisations where employees play on their strengths and know the strengths of their teammates can lead to more efficient ways of working, and teammates match each other’s work according to their strengths and common goals. Research by Gallup shows that people who use their strengths every day are six times more likely to be engaged on the job and strengths-based interventions have led to teams increasing their productivity by 12.5% (Asplund & Blacksmith, 2012).

Bersin (2013) show in their recent report the need to develop organizations into learning organisations, where change is constant and the need for diversity is in demand. Suggestions for future research are to review the need of social technologies and mobile telecommunications, flatter organizations, and what impact these themes have on employee retainment.

Written by Lotta Wallin, consultant in L&D, In focus and well-being Ltd.

Lotta Wallin, a consultant in L&D who works in an International environment with sustaining behavior change by utilizing evidence based methods, tools and assessments. Lotta has broad experience from cognitive behavioral therapy and executive coaching, she is a specialist in adult learning and human behavior, for academic institutions as well as corporate organizations. She designs and delivers training in leadership and positive psychology, to name a few.

Be Sociable, Share!
Be Sociable, Share!