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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Re-recruit your top talent

Linda Heasley, who heads up The Limited, was recently quoted in the New York Times as saying she “re-recruits her team every day”. In these times, not a bad business strategy!

The reality for employers is that 54% of organizations reported involuntarily losing high-performing workers during the first half of the year. Less than one-third were able to retain most of their top talent.

We know there are a lot of unhappy and dissatisfied employees coming out of the recession. But organizations must really focus on their top performers. Top performers are responsible for a significant percentage of the organization’s performance results and are more inclined to walk out the door than ever before. The real top performers in any organization will always have an opportunity to move. As business conditions improve, this will likely create more opportunities for high-value talent to pick and choose what suits them best.

Heasley’s advice is a good reminder that leaders should try to stay in tune with employees at both individual and collective levels. While engagement studies may provide insight into the sentiments of the overall workforce, it’s really important for companies to have a much broader enterprise-wide engagement strategy. One key component of such a strategy includes career discussions with individual employees. Managers need to know what their workers are thinking, what they want from their careers, and align this with the direction of the business.

An organization’s talent is often a company’s only differentiator. And high-performing employees are key to executing on business strategy. Business viability is at risk when workforce strategies and talent plans are ignored.

Employee engagement needs to be an active and ongoing part of your overall workforce strategy and part of leadership's everyday mindset. Do you know the engagement levels of your own workforce? And are your top-performers at risk of flight?


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