The battle to not only to acquire talent, but to retain qualified talent is intensifying – are you prepared to hang on to your top performers?

An organization is only as good as the sum of its parts. And those crucial cogs in the wheel are its employees. Demographic change and increasing competition from emerging economies amplify competition across many levels. For companies, and especially small businesses, it’s rather challenging to find & retain key employees while keeping them properly motivated to perform with high energy.

Hang on employees - in post

Empirical research confirms what is intuitively long been clear that the needs and expectations of corporate employees are highly individual and different. The classical approaches of HR management based on structural segmentation are vastly outdated. Today’s employees need to be challenged differently. They need to be motivated differently.

Uncover their passion.

The most effective way to retain your top talent is to seek to know them even better than they know themselves. Curiosity to ask the right questions that allow them to align their life’s ambition with the job plays a critical role. People spend a great deal of their adult lives at work or getting to work in some commuting nightmarish cities- most of the corporate world do this within the limited space of confined cubicles. It’s a natural progression for regular folks to attach significant meaning to what they do for a living. If key personnel are highly influential in your organization, it behooves the HR department to identify the desired goals, passions and drives of these very important employees.

Provide freedom & flexibility.

Job Sculpting is a phenomenon that has gained some traction over the years. The idea of allowing employees to create the career of their dreams whereby they feel a sense of loyalty to grow and stick with the company like glue. This concept of Job Sculpting was spearheaded by career gurus, Timothy Butler and James Waldroop in the Harvard Business Review. It championed how regular working folks tend to remain in positions that “fit their deeply embedded life interests—that is their long-held emotionally driven passions.”

HR department and key members of the senior management team should adopt a special strategy with their top personnel. They need to allocate the necessary resources to ensure these superstars are happy. If these top employees are crucial to your organization, you can bet that they would be a key addition to other companies, notably, your competition.


Companies need to identify the most crucial factors that make their work meaningful, interesting and passionate. They may require more challenging projects or variety of assignments to stretch their acumen. It’s important for organizations to align the right projects that allow these top employees to perform to their fullest potential. When folks are performing at high energetic levels, it usually means that their work is significant to them.

8 Focused areas to apply.

Keeping key employees happy takes a combination of various factors, companies can explore these 8 identifiable focus areas to provide some valuable guidance:

    1. Application of technology.
    2. Quantitative analysis ability.
    3. Theory development and conceptual thinking.
    4. Creative production.
    5. Counseling and mentoring.
    6. Managing people and relationships.
    7. Enterprise control.
    8. Influence through language and ideas.

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