HOW TO: Keep key talent in your team
Updated: Apr 21
Don’t throw the BABY out with the BATH WATER!!! During a restructure, there will probably be key talent in your team that you really want to keep in your company. But even if these people’s roles AREN’T impacted by your restructure, these high-performers might become so disengaged through the change that they don’t want to stick around to help you with your future plans. Rather than risk losing these important team members, take an active approach to tapping into their needs with these 3 ideas.
Who are talented staff?
They’re the ones who are really enthusiastic. They really care about the company. They really care about their job, about their work, about the tasks that they do. They help other people along the way, and they're great at contributing and giving. They're the people who go above and beyond. So most likely you're going to want to hold onto these people. Not just through the restructure because they'll help get everybody else on board, but even after the restructure, because they will help you to bed down the new structure and processes, and start performing. So critical key talent - you're going to want to keep them around.
Key talent are key talent for a reason!
However, the flipside of key talent is that they know what they want, they know what actually switches them on, and that drives them. And because they are key talent, they're going to go and find that if you're not able to give it to them. So you have to be really careful during a restructure that you don't burn them out, and that you don't leave them in a situation where they start looking for something else outside your organisation. Now, they might not do this in the first wave (when you actually have bedded down the structure and placed people in roles). They might secure a role, but if they're not truly being switched on by that role, very quickly they're going to start looking elsewhere. So how can you get them to keep looking internally, and keep seeing your organisation as the place where they truly want to be?
I'm Lata Hamilton, the Founder and Head Coach of Passion Pioneers. I'm an accredited Change Manager, NLP Practitioner, and Career Change Coach. And this is the second-last article in our 15-part Reimagine Restructures Blog Series.
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IDEA #1: Promote career coaching upfront
Sometimes people don't realise there's things that they actually want. They haven't articulated it for themselves. At an unconscious level, they think of the organisational change as filling some gaps, or closing some gaps, that they've been experiencing and feeling awhile. And then they expect the new structure to do that. And when they find that it doesn't, then they start looking elsewhere.
So, if you can actually bring career coaching up to the front of the organisational change, and at the start of your change program, then you're going to give talented staff a really fantastic way of articulating early on what it is that they want. And then you can actually have them start to see and make their own connections: that your organisation is going to be the one that actually helps them meet what they want out of their career and their lives.
IDEA #2: Appreciate contribution
The second idea is to appreciate and actually put a focus on the "contribution element". Talented staff love to give. Yes, you can get ambitious people who are fantastic high performers. But they might not be your key talent staff. Key talent staff also bring everybody else on the journey, too. And they really help teams "gel". They help bring everybody together, and almost raise the bar for everybody that's in their environment.
So you need to start appreciating that! You need to start appreciating, not just performance metrics being met, but all of the other value that talented staff really bring to your organisation and your teams. Appreciate and put a focus on that before your organisational change starts. Don't wait for the restructure announcement! Make them feel that contribution element they do naturally is something that your organisation truly values, truly wants to get behind, and truly sees in them. That you have a level of gratitude for the unique element they bring into your workplace.
IDEA #3: Promote them
Talented staff want to keep growing and developing, to be able to contribute more and more. So promote them into a role with more responsibility that allows them to do that. Absolutely, give them a pay rise. Because giving somebody a pay rise in our society, in our Western society, is a really critical way of showing that you do appreciate them. But in addition, these people want to do a really good job. If they feel overwhelmed or unsupported in their new role, then again they might start looking elsewhere. So put them in that higher-level role with the financial incentive, but then also make sure that you give them support. And trust me - they are just going to shine, they're just going to keep giving, giving, giving, because that's what they naturally do and what they love to do. And they're going to be performing streets ahead of everybody else and really going to help you meet your future vision and meet those performance goals that you're looking for (that was the whole purpose of your restructure!).
So these were three ideas for you around how you can tap into what key talented staff in your organisation are looking for.
Lata Hamilton is the Founder and Head Coach of Passion Pioneers. See our ready-to-go, ready-to-use Stand Down Change Package to lead transition during coronavirus at our website: