SelectOne Blog

3 Strategies to Retain Top Talent


When an organization suffers the loss of a top performing individual who occupies a highly impactful role in the company, the effects are usually very costly and it can take years to fully regain the level of productivity in the role.

There is great consistency in the messages we hear from professionals as to why they are open to considering new career opportunities.  These reasons tend to be consistent across professions from leaders in finance, operations, technology, HR, legal, etc.

Many people think that compensation is among the top reasons and it is not. 

It can weigh heavily on individuals who have not received market-rate salary increases and bonuses but it is a rarity that anyone expresses a love for what they do and their company who is determined to leave for money alone.

Below are some of the most prevalent reasons top-performing talent leaves their organizations and things to consider in order to retain these valuable employees.

#1: No longer challenged / No professional advancement

Smart, driven people love to be challenged and need to be learning new things. Often times when someone is performing at a high level in their role, organizations will hold them back from pursuing new positions and taking on stretch assignments because they have no one else to do the work. 

Smart succession planning will not only engage and develop other employees in lower level roles, but it will also help companies to retain top talent within the organization.

#2: Negative environment

The most highly valued employees are often those who are optimistic and thrive in an environment that fosters positivity and creativity. Many organizations hold on to employees with toxic personalities because they have certain strong technical skills when in reality, those individuals can bring down the motivation and engagement of entire departments.

Holding employees accountable to maintaining a positive and professional demeanor at work and taking the time and effort to manage out those who choose not to can clear the gray skies and create an environment that people love and are loyal to, even when times are tough.

#3: Lack of recognition

Top performers tend to take great pride in their work, put a mark of excellence on what they do and go the extra mile. Managers who become accustomed to this level of work from a stellar performer can sometimes forget to express gratitude and recognize the individual on a regular basis. 

Often times, the only feedback great performers receive outside an annual performance review is when they make a mistake. Providing recognition – directly, publically and upward to more senior level executives can be the least expensive and most valuable retention tool leaders can employ.

Retaining experienced, high-potential, high-performing talent and keeping them engaged and loving to come to work every day can make all the difference in the world to the success and long-term viability of the organization and while succession planning, mindful performance management and recognition programs can take time and preparation, they are well worth it in the long run.


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