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Are you making these staff retention mistakes?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

10 signs of talent to look for among your own employees.


High employee turnover continues to affect many organisations, hindering their competitiveness and consistency of high-quality products and/or services. Additionally, poor staff retention is very costly in the areas of recruitment and selection process as well as the induction period until new employees reach and live up to company standards.

The focus should be on robust programs and systems around TALENT RETENTION rather than TALENT RECRUITMENT.

Part of an effective talent retention system is to be able to identify the emerging talents among your own employees and to assist them to close the leadership skills gaps to ensure they can achieve long-term sustainable success for the company and themselves (win-win situation).

There are some clear characteristics pushing through in talents. These qualities must be identified, developed and nurtured to ensure you don’t lose the asset (your employee) to the competition.

Top 10 characteristics you should look for:


1  Self-awareness

Talents start to demonstrate the ability to reflect on what is working in their professional environment and what’s not, which then allows them to make adjustments to their actions and communication styles. They manage themselves in a way that sets them apart from the crowd, often holding an objective viewpoint to what is happening within the organisation.


2  Direction and focus

Talents start to show interest in company goals and understand how they fit into the big picture. This allows them to get organised and focus on achieving KPIs and targets. They start to create a clearer vision on why they are doing things and are willing to break out of mediocrity and lift their game to achieve extraordinary things.


3  Proactive and accountable

Exceptional employees begin to increasingly take responsibility for their performance and sometimes even others in their group. They start to think ahead which allows them to proactively follow up on outstanding tasks and issues without being told or reminded. These exceptional employees start to develop a “go get it” attitude and if something goes wrong, they use their self-awareness to identify the problem quickly and find solutions to rectify the situation.


4  Committed and consistent

If an employee is willing to consistently work hard and produce high quality products and/or services, you are looking at a potential talent that needs to be supported. This employee can be a great asset and go far within the organisation. By demonstrating commitment and achieving consistent outcomes they will create a reputation of trust, respect and credibility, which leads to the next point.


5  High standards and integrity

Employees who are committed to excellence have high standards and cannot be overlooked as talents. Give them the best training and tools you can to further their passion of achieving peak performance and great outcomes. You need to look for high ethical standards to ensure you further employees who display integrity and treat others with respect. This will promote a healthy, friendly and supportive work environment. Strong talents will need to treat people the way they would want to be treated themselves.


6  Confident and resilient

If you work with employees who are confident and can effectively deal with setbacks, once again, you are looking at potential talents. Employees who can admit mistakes rather than blaming others are as good as gold and the type of people you want to hold on and invest in. Let’s face it, business is not always a smooth ride and needs real people with confidence and resilience to get back on the horse with a clear focus on maintaining high work ethics, and achieve deadlines, targets and budgets.


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7  Effective communication skills

Emerging talent in employees shows itself not only through their clear and concise verbal communication capabilities, but possibly even more importantly through their listening skills, friendliness and approachability. Good communicators are respectful, pick the right moment and medium for conversations, ask high quality questions and only speak when their words add value to the conversation and outcome.


8  Interpersonal maturity and inspiration

Employees who can build rapport with other staff members often have the ability to see the strength in others and are empathetic to their needs. This allows them to inspire people through their contagious positive attitude and excitement for their role and the business. It is a clear sign on talent when they have others in the team feel inspired and are following them.


9  Creative and flexible

Business runs rarely as planned and organisations are often forced to change their plans and strategies. Therefore, organisations need people who are flexible and can think outside the box – not changing the outcome, but the way to get there! So, if you identify people who can think through multiple scenarios whilst considering impact on stakeholders and results, then definitely include them in your emerging talent list.


10 Open-minded and always keen to learn new things

Last but not least, look out for people who are open-minded, keen to learn and invest in their education and professional development. People who constantly want to create a better version of themselves by accepting feedback and embracing uncertainty. After all, knowledge is power.


Emerging talents will demonstrate some but not all the above characteristics. After all, they are yet to have the opportunity to experience working in higher positions. Whilst being reasonable with your short-term expectations, identify people within your organisation who show promise and possess a number of the above talent characteristics, and provide them with the chance to develop their skills. Learning & Development should include training of 21st century skills (for example interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, emotional intelligence etc.), coaching and mentoring to transform the rough diamonds into brilliant leaders who can achieve sustainable success for all parties involved.

“What if we invest into talents and then they leave?”

“What if you don’t invest in them and then they stay?”

Of course, there will always be some staff turnover, but sound talent management programs improve staff retention and productivity, reduce cost and create consistency in product and/or service offers, thus raising revenue and profit. Help exceptional employees succeed within your company.

“Dare to make a difference!”

#WeMakeItEasy #professionaldevelopment


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