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Talent Management: Preserving Top Talent From Poachers

We are working in the most powerful workforce of all time and talent is everywhere. This makes it seem like talent is also nowhere. Think about an employee you may have that has been loyal and steadfast, but for whatever reason isn’t actively engaged. Enter the poacher, someone who can offer competitive pay and reasonable benefits, but most of all, an engaged work environment.

How would you respond, may an advance on the scheduled raise that’s six months away? Maybe you offer a extra days of PTO to think about it? Well, you’re too late! It’s not the money or the PTO policy that your soon-to-be previous employee is thinking of. It’s the promise of an engaged workplace.

It’s time to get employees to stay because they love their jobs and their work environment, because they feel engaged and invested in their work. And yes, because they are compensated fairly and have concomitant benefit packages. Talent management doesn’t come easy, in fact, it’s downright difficult, but the next three items may help you retain your under-engaged workforce.

Employer of choice

Be that employer everyone wants to work for. Why do people want to work for Google? Look at what your competitors are doing to attract and retain their workers. Take time to research strong employee engagement ideas, you’ll find that quick and easy ideas, don’t help much. Retaining a great employee starts with employee onboarding where we welcome the employee and introduce them to the culture. Onboarding needs to be a process that provides employees with all of the knowledge and tools they need to succeed. Employees want to do a good job and they want to know how. Feeling good about work is a part of loving your job. First impressions last forever.

Employees need to see a future with your company. Make sure whatever evaluation and goal setting process you have in place involves employees. Give employees input and yes, even control over the work they directly do. Many improvements have been made this way.

Most importantly. create a culture that spawns an environment of creativity, trust, respect, employee involvement and responsibility, rewards, and quality. Part of creating a culture is making sure that the vision, the mission and the values are more than words on the wall. Be mission driven and make sure all managers speak and behave in a way that is aligned with the mission. Nothing can kill a great work environment like managers who do not walk the way they talk.


Make sure you have done a thorough analysis of the data surrounding the employees who come to your company and the employees who leave. Take satisfaction surveys not only when people exit, but while they are there. You can target the survey at the whole company, by department, by a targeted set of employees or individually when supervisors meet with their employees or any combination thereof. Employees have the information needed to create a implement a working retention plan. You may want to change your exit interview to a retention interview. Interview the people who stay. If you are not in the know, the plan will fail.

There are many approaches to retention. Following onboarding, mentoring or coaching programs have been very successful at help employees to set and achieve meaningful goals and feel satisfied with progress. Related to that are training and education programs that allow employees to gain new skills and perhaps begin to do more challenging work. Having a career ladder is a wonderful way to inspire top talent to stay with the company and visualize their future. Developing and implementing teams is also a great way to engage employees and make them feel important to the process and engaged in their work.

Benchmark salaries and rewards

It is important to benchmark compensation including salary and variable compensation. In order to keep the best employees, your compensation plan has to be continually updated to keep them within the market range. This includes total compensation meaning benefits, vehicles, etc. An employer of choice knows how important work/life balance is to employees. Check to see if your policies are out of date. The headhunters know exactly how to price your employees out of your company. Stay ahead of the game.

All and all, management needs to create a hard-working and friendly work environment that appreciates and challenges their current employees.

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