Hey, Where’d Everybody Go?? Poaching back in vogue…

I’ve had several clients and colleagues ask about impending
staffing challenges; more specifically, what happens when opportunities for key
performers are appearing in ready form?
We are staring down the barrel of impending poaching
opportunities. Most efforts at reorganization and such have distilled talent
down to key performers; Now, other firms are going after them. 
It’s coming…  What
to do? Some things to consider:
1.  Anybody who tells
you money doesn’t matter… well, they’ll lie about other things as well.  Money isn’t a prime motivator for most; it’s
seldom even a satisfier, but it can be a dissatisfier… People expect to be
paid what they are worth, and if another, reasonable organization offers them
25% more, your pay is the issue. 
Fix it now.  Get
market lines on your compensation, and act proactively – it’s simply too late
after they’ve received an offer.
Once and employee receives an offer, you’re on borrowed
time.  Even if you convince them to stay
for the moment.
2.  YOU know they’re
good, but do THEY know that YOU know?? 
Top performers know they are top performers.  Not necessarily egotistic, they do, however,
have solid self-awareness.  The question
most have is, “do you recognize the value that I bring to this
organization??”   “Do you give
me the recognition that value deserves??” 
And not just money; there’s personal recognition, peer
recognition, intangible rewards, and professional development investments.  All of these tell top performers that you
know they are top performers..
3.  Ask Them!  To quote Tom Peters, “This company had a
unique way of communicating; they talked to each other!”  Want to know what those top performers really
need?  Do something really whacko and ask
them.  That’s right, plain, simple
English.  “Say, Top Performer, I’ve
been wondering.  You do such a good job
around here (remember, s/he knows this already), I wanted to make sure we were
taking care of you properly.  What can we
do so you will continue to really, really like working here for us?” 
Top performers are generally reasonable; you won’t hear
“double my salary,” or “give me 10 weeks of vacation.”  You may hear, “Well, I’d like to spend
some time working in R&D;” or “I was hoping to start my MBA, but
I’m not sure if the schedule will work…”
Then, to coin a line from Picard, “Make it so.”
Keeping top performers isn’t nearly as difficult as we
sometimes think it is.  It’s a function
of being aware of their value, and ensuring that THEY are aware of our
knowledge of their value.  Then, do right
by them.  That’s your best bet in
immunizing them against the coming poaching epidemic…

But that’s just me…


Kevin Berchelmann 

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