a competitive work environment the best of your talent can be seduced by
recruiters and others to go where the promise of the grass being greener
attracts them. You are left with your more
average talent because they are less desirable to the headhunters.
motivates the brightest and the best?
Surely it’s not the promise of more money – because they were smart
enough to negotiate a good compensation package when you hired them. So, what does motivate them? Here are some general ideas of what motivates
talented people to stay in your organization.
- Ability to work with a
minimum of instruction and intrusion from supervisors.
- Opportunities for creative
problem solving in different areas/projects.
- Recognition and
appreciation for their accomplishments.
- Flexible hours which
enable them to find time for their own pet projects.
- Permission to use a
portion of company time to develop new ideas or projects.
- A path to promotion that
ties in their careers with your succession plans.
- Respect – to be recognized
as not one of the crowd but as someone who rises above the ordinary.
Ability to work with a minimum of instruction and intrusion
While there are those who
require having you look over their shoulder at all times and tell them exactly
how to do what you wish to have them do, those of your more talented personnel
are usually self-sufficient once they know the task and have the basic instruction. They feel insulted if you micro-manage
them. More often than not, they will
find new and more effective ways to accomplish their task if you don’t force
them into a particular mold.
Opportunities for creative problem solving in different
Talented people can get
bored easily. They like diversity and
variety and the ability to expand their own knowledge. By allowing them to learn and stretch you are
helping to satisfy their need to be intellectually stimulated.
Recognition and appreciation for
one size might fit all for those wishing to stay in hiding, those exceptional
people do not want to be lumped into the mold of others. As members of a team, they typically talk
more, offer more suggestions, and are seen by others as hogging the time.
know their worth and want to share it – but they also want it to be recognized
and appreciated by those in authority – that’s you. These are not the people who appreciate the
notion that it’s good to take from those who are able and give to those more in
need. They want to work in a
Flexible hours which enable them to
find time for their own pet projects.
these talented people have interests outside of the workplace too. They want time to pursue their own interests,
whether it is art, music, or other business ideas. If they are allowed flexible time they will
no doubt give you many more hours of their time than if you forced them into a
Permission to use a portion of
company time to develop new ideas or projects.
some companies there is the unwritten rule to pretend you don’t notice that
your talented staff member is working on something other than what you’ve
assigned. Everyone pretends it isn’t
happening and hopes the really good ideas being developed on company time will
“bubble up” to the surface and be presented to upper management for future
companies are wise enough to allocate a specific percentage of time (10% - 15%)
so that talented people can legally develop new ideas. There are systems that actually encourage
these ideas to move up the chain of command and if really valuable and within
the company’s core competencies to get the funding and time they deserve.
A path to promotion that ties in
their careers with your succession plans.
there are always the few who want to stay in a safe comfort zone, many talented
people are also ambitious and want clear opportunities for growth. They will not settle for vague promises of
promotion but would prefer a clear path with clear growth objectives. It is usually the promise of promotion that
seduces them away to other companies.
Respect – to be recognized as not one
of the crowd but as someone who rises above the ordinary.
If this sounds like
snobbery, so be it. There are those who
stand taller, who give more, who are more energetic, creative, ambitious and
craving of recognition. More
importantly, these people wish the freedom that comes with being respected as
extra-ordinary. And, now you know why I
picked “think different” as one of my favorite quotes.