How to Engage and Retain Top Talent in Today’s Market


The question of talent engagement and retention has long been a challenging issue for small, medium and large businesses alike.

Today we take a look at some practical and actionable methods organizations can use to engage and retain the market’s top talent, taking into consideration important factors like demographics and evolving expectations.

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1. Take time to uniquely brand the organization

Top organizations are desired brands that talented individuals want to be associated with. In order to retain top talent, an organization must invest in creating a unique brand of itself in the industry. What does it stand for? What are its distinguishing qualities? Most companies know that maintaining a clear value proposition for clients and customers is a critical consideration, but creating this same value for potential employees is just as important. Today’s talented job market is comprised of people who desire to work for companies that represent their own values. They seek organizations that present the best future for them in the industry, the best opportunities to grow their income, and the best shot at developing both their skills and their networks. An organization offering a clear vision of what that looks like has a higher chance of engaging and retaining top talent.

In creating and maintaining a value proposition for the employees, an organization can also employ various training methods for existing employees. These internal initiatives keep employees engaged while also increasing their knowledge base. Training methods can also be creative, involving things like “professional boot camps,” which can attract both millennials and non-millennials.

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2. Let employees know that they are valuable to the organization

Talk is cheap. Employees want to know they are valued. Regardless of generational divides, (Gen X, Millennials or Gen Z) most people desire to work somewhere they are appreciated. Organizational and individual communication is a critical element for making employees feel more engaged. Remind your talent how much the company relies on their ongoing contributions and efforts. Make sure your employees always feel heard. When someone feels like their input matters, they are more likely to feel connected to their job, and thus, more likely to stay with the organization.

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3. Establish strong organizational culture and company values

According to a report by Deloitte, 94% of executives and 88% of employees hold the same belief that a strong organizational culture is linked to a business’ success. To build your culture, first establish a written code of values. Why do you exist? What do you want your employees to focus on day in and day out? Integrity, fun, positivity and initiative are common examples. Next, designate a person (or people) who can help drive this culture within the organization. This might be someone already in the company, or a new hire. Their responsibilities might include everything from scheduling group activities to coordinating lunch-and-learns. Once established, continually find ways to reinforce your company culture. Create company awards, organize and encourage company-wide volunteering opportunities, build a culture committee. And finally, when looking to hire, find people who align with your company values. This doesn’t mean hiring people with identical beliefs or philosophies, but rather, engaging talent who can appreciate your company’s culture, while also adding to it.

Companies creating an organizational culture want to make sure it is effectively communicated to its employees. This keeps employees connected and totally engaged and, in turn, building greater loyalty through retention. Communication should be done throughout the company, touching all departments and their teams regardless of location. Internal engagement from the top down translates to a greater appreciation felt by everyone.

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