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Retaining Quality Talent

Don't let valuable resources slip away

Employers / Managers know they have talented and knowledgeable employees that are essential to the success of their nonprofit or for‐profit corporation. They're easy to recognize and possess many of the following attributes: positive attitude, go the extra mile, mentor team members, meet and or exceed expectations, seek new challenges, skilled in their field, identify opportunities, and many more. With the number of priorities you face every day it's easy for the days and weeks to go by without taking the time to connect with your staff other than during their performance reviews and staff meetings. The economy is growing, and so is the number of new job opportunities. Employees are more open to changing jobs today than they have been in the last seven years. They're more likely to make a move to gain more flexibility to meet their lifestyle choices or to use their untapped talents and skills. Employees that do not feel good about what they are accomplishing in their job or are not learning new skills are also more likely to change to jobs.

It's more common today to hear from clients, 'I'm worried, my dynamic marketing manager is going to leave,' or 'what if the best assistant I've ever had is looking for another job? Or 'a key member of my team just resigned.' My advice is to conduct a 'stay interview,' instead of waiting until the exit interview when there may be little you can do to change their mind. Stay interviews are an employer/manager's opportunity to find out what's motivating high‐performing staff to stay and what might entice them go to work for another organization. Interviews can be informal. Your goal is to gather their opinions which will help you create a more attractive work environment, thereby meeting some or all of their expectations. Schedule stay interviews, separate from performance reviews, and at least once a year with high‐performing employees. When preparing interview questions keep in mind that you want the employee to feel recognized and appreciated, and that you are open to making changes. The questions should help you discover where key employees need more support and changes that could reaffirm their commitment to the organization.

Employees are your most valuable resource and replacing your key positions can be time‐consuming and costly. Determine what you can do to keep employees engaged and establish programs to help them develop and grow. In the end, the goal for you company and your employees is the same ‐ to move forward.

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