Pages Navigation Menu

Human Resource & Change Management Consultants New Zealand

Talent Management

Talent Management – Retaining and Providing Challenges for your Top Performing Staff

In this current environment of low employment and shortage of skilled staff, how do you rate yourself as a manager and as an organisation in retaining those key staff? This article is about how some of New Zealand’s best organisations do this without paying them huge salaries and bonuses.

Many organisations do not want to upset the current pay relativities with other staff and managers and at the same time be able to keep those to performing staff engaged by providing them with interesting and challenging work. These issues face managers in both the public and private sectors on almost a daily basis. The old adage that the cost of recruitment and training of a new person in a role to get them to perform at least to a “competent” level is around 2 x annual salary. The loss of say an organisations top performing staff is even more.

Firstly, can you identify who that top 5% performing staffs is? Many organisations do this through their annual “performance review” round either through the rating system used e.g. those rated at the top end of the scale or some similar means. No matter how this is done this is the first step needed to identify the top talent.

Secondly, once having identified these staff, are they being paid at least in the middle of the salary range to reflect that the internal remuneration system recognises high performance. It makes no sense having a top 5% performer who is paid at the lower end of their salary range. You don’t have to pay all of these staff at the top of the range.

Thirdly, as a manager what do you do to recognise your high achievers? A good initiative often employed, is to bring all of this top talent together and treat them as “special people” for say a day and get the senior management team to front up and talk to them and tell them they are the top talent in the organisation. Recognition and praise is one of the most powerful tools you can use and it does not cost a cent to use. Celebrate high achievement!

Fourthly, establish a coaching and mentoring programme for these staff and meet with them on a regular basis to not only “get to know them better” but to find out what their aspirations are and how the organisation can meet their needs as well as those of the organisation – this is a “two way street”, so you too want something back in return for the extra coaching and mentoring given. Sometimes it is necessary to use an external mentor to help.

Fifthly, what new challenges can you give these top 5% staff to maintain interest and help develop their career further? This maybe done by making them members of key projects or giving them work which will keep them interested in the organisation. Give them opportunities to present ideas and presentations to others.

Sixthly, ask their advice on issues confronting the organisation and the work area where they are employed.

Lastly, put them in the talent potential pool for advancement and succession plan.