You’ve already hired the most promising job candidates using your list of non-negotiables to weed out the bad hires for your entry-level positions. A few months pass. You’re happy with the hiring decisions, and your newer employees appear satisfied as well. You’ve successfully completed the first hurdle to building a great team. Congrats!
But what’s happens next?
Do you have a process in place to identify and reward those rising stars to increase your chances that they stay on your team? If not, you could lose a future leader and not even know it.
One of the most important things you can do for the future of your company is hone your talent-spotting skills or hire an experienced human resources director that has this ability. Besides retaining your top talent, you’re investing in the future success of your company.
Eventually someone from your management team will leave. If you’ve been paying attention to the top talent in the lower ranks and nurturing their skills, then they should be ready to step into a new position without your company missing a beat.
Here are three suggestions to identify rising stars within your business.
1. Pay attention to your staff’s attitude.
Are certain employees eager to take on new projects or always delivering work that’s above and beyond what’s expected? These are valuable people that you always want in your corner. Make sure their work is acknowledged and they feel valued until you’re ready to promote them. A handwritten note or public praise goes a long way toward this.
2. Set aside time to discuss lower-level employees with those working closest to them.
This includes both customers and managers that work with the employees on a consistent basis. With your high-level view of your company’s operations, you may be completely unaware of a hard-working employee that’s helping your business immensely. Also, ensure that your mid-level and upper-level managers are creating an environment where star employees shine and are recognized.
3. Analyze your current rock star leaders to find common traits.
If you can identify certain character traits that many of your successful managers possess, then you can be on the lookout for these traits in your lower-level employees. Consider things like quick decision-making ability, how they communicate, if they need strong writing skills and whether ambition, resilience and empathy are present in your top leaders.
Remember you’re looking at the potential of what these entry-level employees can bring in the future, not necessarily what they can do now. If a team member has most of the traits and skills that your successful directors have but not all, then you can work with them on improving and mentor them to success.
Other things to consider
Make sure you’re fostering a culture that motivates employees and attracts the top talent. If employees highly regard your company, then they’re more likely to stay. Remember that eventually you will most likely be transferring your business to a new owner. One of the key areas buyers look at in due diligence is employee tenure and turnover. Long-term, skilled, experienced employees can go a long ways in reducing the risk associated with your company.
Not only do you want to make sure your employees feel appreciated but you also can offer things like flexible hours, retirement benefits, and competitive salaries to your team.
Take this even further by getting what Inc. columnist and entrepreneur Jason Lemkin calls “real feedback.” He expanded:
“Formal annual reviews don’t work, at least not to combat turnover. You need to meet one-on-one, in an unstructured way, with all your best people–at least once a quarter. Quietly. And ask them what’s frustrating them about their job. What they want to be doing–but aren’t getting to do. Be friendly–but blunt. You need to learn. Get it out of them.”
In a sentence: You need to be a CEO on a mission. Improving is vital to your company’s future and “real feedback” will help you do that.
What do you do to identify and retain your top talent?
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