High-potential talent are every organization’s best asset. Chances are, this would be the pipeline for your succession planning, as high-potential tend to get selected as the future leaders of your organization.
Therefore, in order to achieve your long term business goals, your best bet is to enable and empower this group of talent.
However, while management is busy concocting strategies and policies to engage their overall talent, many tend to forget the needs of high-potential talent in particular, which may need a little more attention.
Here are some ways to engage your best-performing talent:
1. Expose them to new responsibilities
The best talents are naturally self-driven – they gladly take the lead on projects and initiatives.
Enhance this by exposing your talent to new responsibilities that will expand their knowledge and skills. By undertaking projects and initiatives, your best talent can further hone their abilities to solve problems and be innovative in producing solutions. This is also a good opportunity for them to learn about accountability and leadership, which will be beneficial for future roles and succession planning.
Always ensure that these opportunities are provided with the right level of support, resources and tools, to ensure that they can grow and be empowered, and not set themselves up for failure.
2. Create opportunities for advancement
One of the catalysts of employee turnover is the perceived lack of career advancement. If your high potential employees are not promoted over a period of time, they will gradually become disengaged as they perceive that their efforts are not appreciated.
Create clear opportunities for advancement for them. Provide role clarity and career path information, and work with them in translating their career goals to daily work. Career opportunities could be in the form of job rotation, tailored training and/or mentoring programs.
Emphasize internal mobility and encourage the pursuit of continuous professional development, so that your top talents see a bright future at your organization, thus giving them reasons to stay and be motivated and fulfilled. This will also help with your succession planning as you will have a larger pool of next generation leaders.
3. Provide and seek feedback regularly
The old saying ‘no news is good news’ is outdated. The current generation of employees want feedback – positive and negative – on an ongoing basis, not just during the official annual evaluation.
Build a feedback-rich environment and establish regular one-on-one time with your best talents, so that performance assessment becomes an ongoing process of learning and improvement.
Top talent are often a useful source of feedback themselves as you check on the pulse of the company. Be open to feedback and take in the suggestions that come your way.
Promote this culture of communication, and your high-potential employees will be able to see how their work contribute to the overall company’s business strategy and success. They will have a greater sense of purpose at work, thus feeling more motivated and engaged.
4. Develop with purpose
Top talent pick up skills quicker than your average Joe and are more enthusiastic about expanding their knowledge base.
Identify their potential for success through strengths, weaknesses, and areas of interests (Find out how Pulsifi can help with this). Put together a tailored plan – such as workshops, e-learning, exposure to other projects, and mentorship programmes – to develop these areas so that they can contribute back to the organization.
5. Reward even during lean times
Excellent work deserves reward and recognition, therefore you cannot avoid rewarding and recognizing your best talents – even during lean times. If it happens for one or two years, they may understand, but if it goes on far too long, they will leave for other organizations.
Although it is financially-challenging during tough times, your top performers need to know that they are a valuable member of your company. It might be easier to let go bad employees than to lose a good talent.
Thus, it is recommended to reward and recognize them especially during lean times. By doing so, you are setting an example that extraordinary work and performance are recognized and compensated accordingly.
6. Enable and encourage flexibility
Everything is much more dynamic and fast-paced these days. Therefore, what matters is the speed and ease with which employees can access data and technology required to do their work.
As today’s workforce sees technology as a growing part of their future job success and satisfaction, it is imperative to invest and utilize efficient software and modern technology, and to remove bureaucratic restrictions and unnecessarily strict rules.
If a top performer finds that the work environment decreases their productivity or provides no flexibility (working remotely or flexi hours), they might look for another organization which gives them what they need.
7. Positive corporate culture
Company culture and high turnover rates are closely connected. The best talents will not want to be part of an organization for long where the work environment does not value appreciation, team work, collaboration and work-life balance.
It is also proven that a positive corporate culture plays a vital role in overall business performance. According to the Aon 2018 Global Employee Engagement Trends Report, a 5-point improvement in employee engagement brings about a 3% increase in revenues.
To be seen as an employer of choice, you must create a positive corporate culture which delivers a fulfilling work experience that aligns personal and corporate goals. Top talents in particular, like to feel that they contribute to the bigger picture, and that is how engagement is driven.
High employee engagement, in turn, boosts work productivity and overall revenue growth.