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Attracting and Retaining the Best Employees

Source | LinkedIn : By Daniel Burrus

It’s no revelation that great organizations are made up of great people. That means it’s imperative that organizations of all types and sizes have a firm strategy in hand for identifying, attracting and retaining top talent.

But for Anticipatory Organizations, hiring the “best” goes further than an appealing pitch, followed by a welcome aboard handshake. Bringing the best people into your organization and keeping them also mandates that, once talented people are on the job, their skills not only prove a suitable match to their responsibilities, but that those talents continually serve to help move the organization forward.

That puts the challenge of hiring the best people in a completely different context.

What Matters to Employees

The expense of having to replace employees who, for whatever reason, don’t remain with an organization is, frankly, hard to pin down. But what is clear is that it can prove exceedingly costly. One study by the Center for American Progress found that, for mid-level employees, the typical cost of turnover was 20 percent of salary. For a mid-level worker making $50,000 a year, that’s $8,000.

It would be easy to assume that money—enough of it, that is—is the defining factor in happy, committed employees. But that’s not necessarily the case. For instance, in one study, researchers found that more than three-quarters of all employees value career growth. In another compelling finding from a study by the Society for Human Resource Management, employees also stressed the value of an environment of trust between all employees and senior management.

What an Anticipatory Organization Can Do

Making certain your employees receive competitive wages and benefits is a solid strategy for attracting premier talent. But equally valuable are other components that not only pinpoint the right hire but also help keep valued employees engaged and rewarded:

  • Make your organization inclusive. One central caveat in my Anticipatory Organization Model™ is what I refer to as ending the war between young and old—the many divisions that come between younger and older employees. When looking to hire the best person, bear in mind the balance of your workforce between experienced employees and newcomers eager to learn all they can. Further, make certain that your organization recognizes the value that the experience and wisdom of older employees brings as well as the open mind and knowledge of new technology younger employees bring to the table.
  • A focus on re-inventing products, services and processes. If new employees feel that they are entering a time machine backward when they work for you, the best and the brightest won’t stay long. On the other hand, if they feel like you are actively reinventing the business in order to thrive in the years ahead and believe that the business needs new thinking and innovative ideas to do that, they will be far more likely to stay and to tell a talented friend about job openings.
  • Keep your technology current. Employees willing to join and remain with an organization naturally want the best tools available with which to do their jobs. Ask yourself if this describes your organization’s technology. Is it as current as possible or an ongoing headache for employees? An organization willing to invest sufficiently in productive technology sends the message that talented employees warrant the means with which to leverage that talent.
  • Make innovation an across-the-board job description. An Anticipatory Organization doesn’t break out innovation as the purview of one person or group. Rather, it encourages people at all levels to employ anticipatory thinking by identifying and pre-solving predictable problems and looking for ways to make everything they do even better. From there, it fosters a culture of innovation in which everyone is a stakeholder, rather than just a select few.

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