Bye, Bye Talent: Why The Top Performers Are Really Leaving Your Organisation

Oct 22, 2015

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Players scoring for their new clubs against former teams is a repeated narrative in sport.
Robin Van Persie did it for Man United in 2012, three minutes into his first game against old club Arsenal. Danny Welbeck returned the favour by slotting home the Arsenal goal that knocked the Red Devils out of the FA Cup in 2015 after moving in the opposition direction.

They may have been rejected, unappreciated or even simply unchallenged by their former employer. But given a chance to shine, they seize it with both hands, especially when their old bosses are watching!

These are the ones that got away: talented staff who leave your organisation to forge a stellar career elsewhere.

Why did you let them go? They often slip through corporate fingers because their talent or potential went unrecognised, or nothing was done to nurture it.

Would-be high-achievers also leave for the same reason everyone else does: they were unengaged, uninspired and had no clear career path to follow. While top managers may pay lip service to talent management, the reality further down the chain of command is shockingly different.

Seven out of 10 employees don’t feel appreciated or valued by their employer, according to a survey by Forbes. On average, 40% don’t respect the person they report to and almost a third saw themselves working elsewhere within 12 months.


Number one reason why people leave: “My boss is a jerk”


The failures that nudge good staff towards the door are well-known. The Centre for Management and Organisational Effectiveness listed five. You can’t do much about reason number one – “Their boss is a jerk.”

And if it’s reason number five – the company going rapidly under – well, you probably have bigger things to worry about! But lack of recognition, empowerment and potential advancement are all things you can address.

It’s not that much of a shock that 43% of middle managers feel they are doing “all the work but not getting credit for it.” Don’t we all?! But the fact that nearly two out of three feel their companies suck at helping them climb up the career ladder should come as a wake-up call to many.

Most people prefer to put out a resume as a means to advancement rather than try to negotiate a maze of office politics that doesn’t reward genuine merit. The flipside of the coin is that employees who are “challenged, engaged, valued and rewarded rarely leave,” according to Forbes.

The trick is to achieve all of these things. But how?


Big benefits from Big Data


We’ve all heard about the benefits of Big Data – the metrics we can harvest and analyse with the right software.  But one big gain that’s often overlooked is employee engagement. Giving people real-time useful feedback about their performance not only helps them do their job better – it’s also very motivating.

Big data can overwhelm you with too much information so it helps if you narrow things down with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Another tip is to integrate your number-crunching software across all HR functions and make sure it provides real time data that can really be made to count. High-performers that are worth rewarding and nurturing will be pinpointed (and, just as importantly, so will any laggards!).


Ten point plan for top talent


But that’s just the start of the process. The Harvard Business Review recommends a 10 point plan for making the most of your top talent by managing them as a “portfolio of scarce growth assets.”

“Identify the riskiest, most challenging positions across the company, and assign them directly to rising stars,” it urges.

Candidates should be tested in ability, engagement and aspiration. Individual development plans should steer their career in the right direction – and compensation and recognition should be “significantly differentiated.”

Keeping track of all this makes talent management software a must on any HR manager’s wish-list!


Use HR technology to nurture rising stars


CoreHR’s integrated HCM software does all of the above by putting the employee at the heart of your business process. You can align your employee’s objectives to the organisation’s goals and provide the tools your staff need to develop and succeed. Best practice succession planning also ensures you have a talent pool ready to step into new roles at every level.

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