February is commemorated with chocolates, cards and flowers… all of the key indicators that love is in the air. People appreciate being recognized and feeling appreciated. How can we embody this spirit of appreciation in the workplace? Here’s something to consider.

Talented employees often get top treatment when joining a new organization or accepting a promotion. It’s much like being in a new relationship. The work is fresh and exciting. Employees are enticed with the promise of new opportunities and broadening horizons. But what happens when the dust settles, time passes, and the days become routine and work-as-usual?

Talented employees tend to feel neglected, recognition and personalized attention wane, and they inevitably begin to feel bored or even unappreciated.

This is a dangerous trend for organizations. Why? Because in an employee market, attracting high performing employees is competitive, yet retaining talent that may look for greener pastures is even harder. There is meaningful evidence that suggests employees today change jobs more frequently. Top talent doesn’t have to go looking for opportunities, opportunities come to them.

You’ve likely heard the expression, “People leave managers, not organizations.” While perhaps a bit cliché, the data is conclusive; it is absolutely true. Equipping front-line managers with the right tools to improve the manager-employee relationship is a critical piece of your overall talent retention strategy. Today’s competitive talent market requires organizational leaders to master relationship management and employ proactive retention strategies that engage and energize critical talent.

How can organizations support managers in retaining top talent?

To keep top talent engaged and committed, managers should utilize the Re-Recruitment Conversation. Having a targeted re-recruitment conversation periodically is the perfect opportunity to re-connect with an employee and ensure they are committed and engaged at work!

There are 5 steps to re-recruitment:

  1. Open by focusing on the employee
  2. Explore employee concerns
  3. Create commitment
  4. Resolve differences
  5. Agree on an action plan

Not every re-recruitment conference must be a formal, face-to-face meeting. With experienced employees whom you know well, the goals of a re-recruitment conference can be accomplished less formally during regular one-on-one meetings, when driving together, or during a routine phone call.

What matters most:

  • Letting the employee know you are committed to his or her professional success and personal well-being
  • Identifying and understanding any issues that might get in the way of productive performance or a rewarding employment experience
  • Partnering with the employee to solve those problems
  • Sustaining your interest and commitment over time

WLH Learning Solutions supports organizations with the retention of high-level employees by utilizing the Rx for Retention™ Predictor Model. This is the foundation of our approach to identifying and solving organizational retention challenges. Please contact us for more information on our Rx for Retention™ Predictor Model, as well as our other targeted, blended-learning solutions.

Wendy L. Heckelman

Dr. Wendy Heckelman, president and founder of WLH Consulting, Inc. has 25 years of experience working with Fortune 100 industry clients. These include pharmaceutical, biotech, health care, consumer products, financial services, and distribution service organizations. Wendy has also worked with international non-profit organizations and growing entrepreneurial companies.

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