Motivating Top Talent In De-Motivating Times

Nov 16 08:31 2009 Brad Remillard Print This Article

To retain your top talent it is absolutely critical to ensure they are motivated. In difficult times that is often not on many hiring managers or CEOs list of top ten things to accomplish. Most people are working long hours, doing the job of 2 people, stress is at an all time high, fear of lay offs is reality, salaries are frozen, pay cuts have been implemented and forget about any bonus. For many companies this is their current culture.

So how do you motivate your top talent to reach the company’s goals?

How do you keep them from contacting recruiters?

How do you keep them passionate about coming to work?

How do keep them engaged day after day?

The answer to all of these is “Culture.” Even in difficult times top talent,Guest Posting by definition, will always rise to the occasion. They will always strive to be the best. If they don’t, they aren’t top talent. However, even top talent can burn out, get frustrated, not see the light at the end of the tunnel or wonder if they are really contributing.

It is the role of all CEOs and hiring managers to ensure these don’t happen. As an executive recruiter I have recruited thousands of candidates over the last 30 years. There seems to be a consistent theme what great companies do in difficult times to hold on to and even attract top talent.

In our recent talk radio program we discussed four areas companies must focus on to ensure they keep their top talent motivated. You can download the audio for free. Just click here.

1) Companies must have a performance based culture. Even in difficult times there must be clearly defined goals for the company. These goals must cascade down to your top talent. They must have quantifiable objectives that motivate them, so when reached, they feel a sense of accomplishment.

2) Dysfunctional Culture. Probably the biggest reason top talent gets nervous and begins to think outside your company. Do you know your company’s culture? Can you define it? Will your executive staff define it the same way? Will the in-the-trench worker bees define it the same way? We developed a Culture Assessment Toolfor you and all your employees to take. Once completed see if aligns with the culture you want? If not, this is the time to begin working on it.

3) Non-monetary rewards and recognition. The least expensive and least used method to retain top talent. How many timeswe’ve heard from candidates,”No matter how much I contributed, how many times I went above and beyond what was expected, or all the times I missed my kids activities, it always seemed just part of the job. Never even a thanks, appreciate the effort, even a small pat on the back.” Consider building a culture of rewards and recognition that makes your top talent feel appreciated. Top talent does not want to be taken for granted.

4) Consistent feedback. Similar to above but more formal. This includes regular and structured 1-on-1 feedback sessions. Not passing in the hallway. Actually sitting down and focusing on them. Giving them feedback, encouraging them, listening to what their needs are (even if you can’t meet them, just listening), taking an interest in their career and building a shared bond.

Consider these four things as a way to motivate your top talent. There are others and we encourage you to consider anything that will help you attract, hire and retain your top talent.

You can explore our audio library,download free examples of compelling marketing statements, download a summary of our research project that identifies the biggest hiring mistakes, and get our culture assessment tool by clicking the links. All these are free.

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Brad Remillard
Brad Remillard

IMPACT Hiring Solutions is a best practices hiring company that provides retained executive search, job search coaching and programs for companies that help them attract, hire and retain top talent.

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