Talent is Only On Loan

Are you utilizing these powerful employee engagement ideas to retain your talent and maximize your organizational development?

Summary
Transcript
Julie Bauke is an experienced human resources manager and chief officer in charge of happiness at The Bauke Group. She has a theory about the unspoken agreement between employees and employers – that employees aren’t actually retained, they are on loan. Genuine employee engagement ideas start here, as Julie notes it’s easy for employers to lose perspective when it comes to retaining talent, especially when they have a “rock star” employee whom they don’t want to lose!

Do you know the best ways to motivate employees, including what to ask and how to support them so they want to stay, grow and contribute to your organization? What strategies do you use? Please share them with us in the comments.

The biggest mistake leaders make when they talk about employee development is they forget they’re actually talking about human beings who have their own set of interests and their own set of goals.

And we think sometimes that once you’ve got this rock star in your department, you might think, “Wow, now all my problems are solved!”

But the talent is always on loan. It really is kind of a week-to-week or a pay-period-to pay-period agreement. If it still makes sense for that rockstar to be here after he or she gets paid, and if he or she still thinks it makes sense to be part of your team, and still believes they’re getting value in their career out of being a part of your team then, in essence, he or she signs up for another two weeks.

That conversation is almost never had.

Sometimes you have people in roles where they may be the only ones who know how to do something, or they’re such rockstars that the organization feels they can’t function without them. Then the manager’s only employee engagement objective is to keep that person. How do you do that?

First, remember to have that conversation about what that person wants more of in his or her career.

Also, keep that in mind when you’ve got people who are really valuable, make sure you’re not putting too much on them to make up for other people in your group who aren’t pulling their weight, and make sure you the person knows they’re valued. Remembering these concepts is how to motivate employees.
The biggest mistake that leaders make when we talk about attracting and retaining talent, is they forget that they are actually talking about human beings that have their own set of interests and their own set of goals. And we think sometimes that once we've got this rock star in our department that, "Wow, now all my problems are solved!" But really the talent is always on loan. It really is kind of a week-to-week or a pay-period-to pay-period agreement. If it still makes sense for you to be here after you get paid up to date and if I still think it makes sense for you to be part of my team, and you still feel like you are getting value in your career out of being a part of my team then, in essence, we sign up for another two weeks. That conversation is never had; however, that's really the way you need to think about it.

What happens is we get people in roles where they may be the only one who knows how to do something or they are such a rock star that the organization feels like they can't function without them. Then the manager expends all of his effort trying to keep that person. So let's say you've got this great talent -- and I hear it all the time. "How do I keep so and so? I really need to keep her in this role. How do I keep her from moving on?" And I always say, "Have you asked her what she wants?" Because she might be perfectly happy. Maybe she could be happier with a couple of tweaks but she might be perfectly happy in that role. Where you start to lose perspective is when you think it's all what you need and what you need to keep. So understand that the person you have may not want to stay in that role anymore and may choose to leave the organization if you're not having that conversation about what she wants more of in her career.

If you can keep that person on your team by helping meet her needs in terms of learning and development and challenge and excitement and all of that, great. But the minute that person says, "I think I want to do something else." If you freak out and say, "Oh I can't lose you! I can't lose you!" I guarantee you are going to lose that person because they start seeing you as someone who's not looking out for their best interests. So talent is really on loan. It's never retained.

So keep that in mind when you've got people who are really valuable, make sure that you're not putting so much on them to make up for the other people in your group who aren't pulling their weight and make sure you the person knows they're valued and that you really ask them, "What else do you want to do? Do you want to do more of something? Less of something? Is there anything I can help to do to help you be more happy and productive where you are?"
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Julie Bauke

Julie Bauke is The Chief Career Happiness Officer of The Bauke Group. She is as serious about your Career Happiness as she is her own — and she is deadly serious about hers.

She started The Bauke Group after a lifetime of bel...

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