In previous articles, I recommended developing a talent philosophy in order to express the value organizations place on their people, and to guide organizations on people decisions. For example, an organization might determine that when it comes to their people they want to:

Choose wisely, lead with care and reward generously. Click To Tweet

The third part of this example is Reward Generously. Organizations invest heavily to identify, attract and hire great talent. In addition, after talent is acquired, organizations lead with care by helping people blossom to the benefit of the individual and the organization. The third phase is focused on retention efforts, or rewarding generously.

In our Future State Talent model, rewarding generously includes three elements:

Engaging Talent – creating and maintaining a culture that is inclusive and helps people feel passionate and committed at work.

Rewarding Talent – recognizing and rewarding people for efforts and results, and doing so in a way that is meaningful to each person.

Promoting Talent – planning for succession and long-term leadership based on matching individual performance and development results with organizational needs.

According to a Gallup poll only 13% of employees are truly engaged. There is much written about engaging employees and how to improve it. Surveys are fine, but having conversations with employees is better. Hiring and developing talented people who share an organizations mission, values and purpose is the best starting point for an engaged workforce. Then engagement is mostly about keeping employees connected and  giving them a voice and an opportunity to make positive change.

Rewarding people includes recognition for superior efforts, competitive compensation and an opportunity to earn bonuses based on superior results. According to M.I.T. , the purpose of an employee recognition program is to recognize and reward work and behaviors that support/further the mission, goals, values and initiatives of the organization. Opportunities to earn rewards and recognition should be well publicized and transparent and generate enthusiasm within the organization.

A natural extension of rewards and recognition is promotions. Promotions should be a result of an overall succession plan. The best succession plans start with organizational needs rather than with people. That way an organization can be certain their future leadership needs will be met. Organizations certainly want to promote from within, but some leadership needs require talent not readily available within an organization. A well designed, communicated and executed plan can help ensure the future of an organization Click To Tweet

Stories abound about unhappy employees and those who leave companies, including well publicized stories about Amazon and Walmart. Less sensationalized stories of employee dissatisfaction are found in many social media venues like Glassdoor. There are also many success stories from companies like Southwest Airlines and Ritz Carlton. Interestingly, Amazon and Walmart are still around and doing well. So strong talent retention efforts are less about keeping an organization from failing, and more about helping an organization excel.

To discuss how we can help in designing and implementing talent programs that will retain your people, please contact us.


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