Employee engagement

Attracting and Retaining Talent

Nowadays, organizations and even entire industries (e.g. healthcare, IT, high tech) are faced with human resource challenges that in many cases threaten their very survival. 

These challenges include:

  1. Attracting and Retaining High Caliber Talent
  2. Engaging People in High Performance Teamwork

Easier said than done. Yet by applying some simple, straightforward and even low cost solutions any organization can immediately improve its condition in these vital areas.

The Recruitment and Retention Challenge

Take retention for example. Ask yourself “In my case, what keeps me working for my current employer, in this industry?” The answer you give will be very similar to what your staff would give.

We find that in the majority of cases, the answers include the following factors – how would you rate your own satisfaction on these factors? (5 = Strongly Agree, 1 = Strongly Disagree)

Factor 1 2 3 4 5
I receive fair and competitive pay and benefits
I am fully engaged in my work
I know how my work contributes to the success of my team and the company and I am recognized for it
I have many opportunities to grow, develop and remain employable
I work with people who I like and respect, and who like and respect me in return
I am given the training, information and tools to do my job effectively, manage change and stay safe & healthy

Not a big list, and I’m sure you can add many more factors. How are you and your staff doing on these few but critical factors?

Start with recruitment

Tackling these challenges starts at the recruitment stage. Imagine you are composing an ad to recruit for a key position in your company. Take a look at job ads in your local newspaper. Notice anything? While most job ads have lots of information on the responsibilities of the position and the qualifications of the ‘ideal’ candidate, i.e. ‘what we expect from you’, only a small handful really SELL the company and what it is like to work there, i.e. ‘what you can expect from us’. And don’t forget that your customers, suppliers and competitors also read these job ads!

Now take the six factors listed above and use them to write your own ad, with an emphasis on why anyone would want to work for your company. Notice the difference? Your ad might look something like this:

When you work with ABC company, you can be certain that it will be a powerful experience you will want to tell others about. 

You can expect to receive not just competitive pay and benefits, but we also ensure that you are treated fairly when compared with what your fellow employees receive. In addition we will make sure that you have the training, information and tools to do your job effectively, manage change and stay safe & healthy. 

On an ‘average’ day you can expect to be fully engaged in your work…we hate boring work, and eliminate it at every opportunity. You can expect to know how your work contributes to the long term success of your team and the company…and be recognized for it. As well, you will be given many opportunities to grow beyond your current job, upgrade your skills and remain fully employable. 

And finally, you can expect to work with other people who you like and can respect and who like and respect you in return.

There are many other benefits to working with ABC company, too much to go into here. Why not drop by and talk with us, or send us a note explaining why you would want to work with us, and what we can expect from you in return…no resume, just your own words!

If you are experiencing a retention problem, how much is it costing you? If you aren’t, how are other organizations in your industry attracting and retaining key people? Perhaps their practices will in time attract your best and brightest people away…can you handle that?

The High Performance Teamwork Challenge

Attracting and retaining key people, while important, does not necessarily mean that high performance automatically follows. You need to get people working in teams…high performing teams. There are a number of essential elements of high performing teams that make them successful.

The most important of these are:

  • GOALS –  Teams need a meaningful and unifying purpose

  • INTERDEPENDENCE: Team members have interdependent roles

  • COMMITMENT: Team members need to commit to the team publicly

  • ACCOUNTABILITY:  The team needs to be accountable to a higher authority

It’s as simple as that, but it’s not easy.

Teams also need practical tools to help them align their efforts with the overall direction of the organization, and then to achieve focused performance breakthroughs, as well as continuous improvement. Organizations need  team based tools (such as team scorecards) to become more:

  • Customer centric
  • Results focused
  • Evidence-based
  • Process oriented and
  • Team driven

Use these tools to tie all your team’s improvement efforts together, and you won’t be disappointed.

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