What keeps your high-potential employees committed?

Every company is dependent on a high-quality workforce, from frontline sales to C-level executives. Human Capital remains a key differentiator to innovate and grow market share. But hiring high potentials is just one side of the coin. Retaining employees for succession must be the long-term goal.

Do you ever wonder why start-ups and scale-ups grow so easily? How do they attract high potentials and how do they retain them? Start-ups and scale-up companis effortlessly attract talented individuals because they align with the mission, like entrepreneurship, or just feel attracted by a visionary leader. Ask yourself, how much effort went into finding your own high performing employees, and why did some of them leave? Do you really know?

These are existential questions for CEOs, company owners, and HR Directors. Today, the industry norm is still reactive with an exit meeting for those who have given notice. What if you would change your attitude, and investigate what keeps them enthusiastic about your company? Don’t you think this could be crucial information to retain them?

A company doesn’t necessarily need to nurture their employees like Google or Apple. Employees are not always looking for the playground working place, but at least try to find out what culture does keep them committed?

Who doesn’t know Glassdoor.com; a platform where employees (often ex-employees) write anonymous reviews about their working experience with a company. Glassdoor was co-founded in 2007 by Tim Besse and Robert Hohman. They hypothesized that employee reviews revealed publicly, could serve those looking to make a career decision. Glassdoor also shows salaries, benefits and the pro’s & con’s that apply for a job. Each writer is verified and checked how long they have actually worked for an employer, so there is a lot of truth in the reviews published.

Each year Glassdoor ranks company ratings to determine its annual “Employees’ Choice” Awards, also known as “the Best Places to Work”. Wouldn’t you want to be ranked positively?

But … do you honestly believe that employees will review their former company favorably? Unless they received severance pay or left with a handsome bonus, most employees don’t necessarily leave their organization in the best of moods or because they liked their job or boss so much …

When did you receive a truthful review during an exit meeting with a disgruntled employee? Has anyone ever revealed their true reason for leaving? And what does a company do with employee comments? Why wait until it is too late? Fix the leak now! No … better, learn how to become “The Best Place to Work”!

The only right question to ask is then “Why do you Stay”.

What if you had a company-specific manual to (1) attract high potentials, (2) keep them engaged and (3) identify the big demotivators that should be avoided at all cost?

Look at your workforce, identify your high potentials, ask their input and challenge them to reveal the pitfalls that thwart employee attraction. Work on your corporate story and employee journey. Devise incentives, etc. You can do all this, but will your employees be totally frank? Do you honestly believe that they would jeopardize their own career perspectives by criticizing their employer?

I don’t think so…