RAB Research Archive

Are You in Danger of Losing Your Best Talent?



“Can I run something by you?” Ted asked. He and I worked together for several years. He’s a successful seller in an industry he loves. He survived the high turnover and is one of two senior sellers. He called because he was considering leaving the company. Ted was not considering leaving the industry. He was not considering leaving to go to a market that had a better economy, not going to the group that was number one in the market. He had no promises of getting the top account list at the new company. Yet, he was considering leaving after 17 years. Why?

After a brief conversation, it was obvious that it wasn’t the money, the incentives or the benefits — the things we normally expect would be the tipping point — that caused Ted to consider leaving. No, in a word, it was culture. Ted said of his potential new employer, “Just walking in the building felt different. It felt like a family. I doubt my current manager even knows my wife’s name, but these new people want to welcome us both into the family.”

Are you in danger of losing your top people? Are you sure?

Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman in their book, First Break All the Rules, share some stunning research on employee retention/satisfaction. The book is based on Gallup Organization’s interviews of more than 80,000 managers at all levels, and in companies of all sizes.

Buckingham and Coffman suggest that much of conventional wisdom should be ignored. They provide four keys for unlocking the potential of your employees.

Select employees based on talent rather than experience or intelligence. Evaluate performance based on desired outcomes rather than direct control over the way the worker performs their job.

Reject conventional wisdom that “people can be fixed.” Instead, focus on the strengths of your people and manage around their weaknesses.

Find the right fit for your employees’ talents. Avoid conventional wisdom that promotion is the only just reward for high performance. This leads to an organization where everyone is ultimately promoted to their level of incompetence.

Ted decided to go to the new company. They were in the same market, the same industry, and he’s doing exactly the same work. The difference, however, is dramatic. He has a completely different attitude and passion about what he's doing now because of the new culture. What a pleasure it is talking to someone who not only loves what he is doing but also loves where he is doing it.

Tomorrow, we will share more Gallup research and a tool called the 12 Questions to Determine How Secure Your Talent Is.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB





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