I recently found out I was nominated and awarded a CEO Today Magazine Top Consultant award. So humbled that one of my clients would nominate me for this award. Over the last three years, I have been blessed with amazing clients that have elevated their game and risen from Exhausted Heroes to Strategic Leaders. I love the work that I do and feel so blessed to create a satisfying career. Thank you for all of the support and trust!
The War on Talent is evolving, and it isn’t getting any easier.
As we pass the midpoint of 2021 and the 4th of July, I am reminded that warfare is as evolutionary as it is revolutionary. The American’s successfully defeated the King’s Army in the 1700’s by switching up the strategy. The English were masters in trench warfare and battle lines. The American’s added surprise attacks and militias to win the Revolutionary War.
Today, the tactics in the War on Talent are also evolving and companies need to pay attention to not be caught off guard. According to DDI, nearly 26% of leaders expect to leave their company in the next year. Companies in the past used benefits, office locations, or work from home opportunities to attract high potential talent to their organizations. These are now all expected, not a differentiator. Companies promoted the stability of the company and the longevity of the workforce as key selling points. These are now sometimes seen as warning signs for a stale company stuck in the past.
What should companies do to attract high potential talent during this new competitive phase of the War on Talent?
- Keep High Potential Talent: It is cheaper and easier to keep your best people, than to try to replace them. Identify your top talent and ensure they have a seat at the table, impactful compensation, and ask them what can make their employment experience better. Many are exhausted so help them find balance and let them know you respect their balance needs.
- Listen to your Candidates: In today’s War on Talent, everyone has different needs and many are exhausted. Manage your employment offers based on the individual by asking about their ideal work experience. Example, you may not need to offer high compensation if vacation time is more important.
- Create Fairness Based on Performance: Companies are missing out on high potential and high performing talent because they are implementing policies to create fairness across ALL employees. Instead create policies that reward performance with these benefits like work from home options, remote work options, more vacation days, and flexible work hours.
- Critical Role vs. Standard Role: In a tight talent war, recruiting departments are overwhelmed, compensation budgets are strapped, and the candidate pools may be limited. Prioritize your roles to maximize your time, effort, and resources knowing that you may have to pick your battles.
- Help your High Potentials to Succeed: Invest with executive coaching, leadership development programs, and senior leader mentors to help your high potentials gain the skills and perspectives needed to succeed and remain engaged!
The War on Talent is evolving. Are you able to evolve and win?
So humbled to be interviewed by Rusty Shelton for his Authority Marketing podcast. Rusty and Advantage Media have been great partners and advisors in helping my entrepreneurial dreams to come true.
In a recent study by DDI, 86% of high potential employees are feeling burnout. And high potential employees are twice as likely to leave compared to their peers.
It isn’t that much of a mystery why high potential employees are feeling exhausted. In the last year, the amount of change that these employees have experienced, and in many parts led, has been unprecedented. To name a few; leading from their home office, managing hours of Zoom calls, assisting children with remote learning, and managing understaffed teams.
But it doesn’t stop there. Many high potentials literally saved the company. These Exhausted Heroes put the company on their backs to reinvent supply chain models, build new apps, redesign the customer experience, and/or developed new customer solutions. They were asked to step up in a time of crisis, and they did. And they probably took on more than everyone else. A Harvard Business Review study says top performers can be 400% more productive than the average performer.
The bad news is these Exhausted Heroes are actively looking for new opportunities outside your organization. Nearly 60% of leaders reported they felt used up at the end of the workday, which is a strong indicator of burnout, according to DDI. Nearly 44% of these leaders expect to change companies in order to advance their careers with 26% expected to leave within the next year.
Pay attention now to your High Potentials before it is too late. Provide growth opportunities like leadership development programs or executive coaching. Unleash spot bonuses to recognize great work. Unfreeze promotions to allow them to reap the rewards of their hard work. And most importantly, recognize their hard work with a thank you.
You could not have had a successful year last year without your high potential talent. Make sure you have a successful year next year by retaining them! There is no time to waste!
According to a recent study sponsored by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the
amount of time employees spend in meetings has increased by 13% during the pandemic.
I didn’t think it was even possible, but yes, our calendars are filled with 13% more meetings as we work from home. With the inability for a 5 mins drive by conversation or a quick chat over lunch, we have scheduled our way into a meeting straight jacket.
Here are 3 quick ways to decrease your meetings by at least 20% each week (that is one out of five days saved!)
1. Proactively Decline Your Calendar: Every Friday, block 30 mins to review your calendar for the next week. Find meeting that you can decline or send your deputy to, orcombine with another meeting. It is amazing how many meeting owners will react by sending you a concise email or by moving the meeting out a few weeks. And if it is really important, they will call you and beg for a meeting…that just doesn’t happen often!
2. Make your One-on-Ones Count: When you review your meetings, how many are with your team? I am a believer the majority of meetings can be cancelled if you use one-on- ones to think proactively and not reactively. Don’t spend one on one time talking about what has been accomplished. Instead, focus on what needs to be achieved in the next two weeks. This provides the direct report with a runway to get things done over thenext two weeks, without scheduling a ton of meetings with you for buy in!
3. Create Project Captains: Instead of delegating tasks on a project, delegate the entire project. Take time in the one on one to help your new captain think through the steps to complete the project and proactively think through potential roadblocks. Then, send them to run the meetings, collaborate with others, and report back progress to you during weekly one-on-ones.
Now, what do you do with your “free time”? You become a proactive, visionary Fire Chief who can effectively influence change and coach their team to victory. For many of us, this could mean increasing our strategic behaviors, influencing skills, and coaching capabilities.
I had the privilege of being a guest of Andrew Wayfinder’s on “The Confidence Chats”. Check out the replay of the panel discussion below.
New Report: 50% of your employees are planning to leave!
It is true! 52 percent of employees are planning to look for a new job this year — a concerning 43 percent increase from 2020 and 2019. That’s according to Achievers’ fourth annual Employee Engagement and Retention Report.
Not enough to freak you out…ask 10 friends if they would like to find a new job this year. Do you think 5 will say yes? I recently asked 10 friends and 5 said they are already actively looking.
Companies spend thousands of dollars on proactive maintenance of machines to save millions of dollars annually in replacement costs. We also need to spend thousands to proactively engage our talent to save millions of dollars annually in replacement costs.
The cost of losing your high potential talent could be as much as 200% of their annual salary, according to the Society of Human Resource Management. So let’s say you take 25% of that cost and proactively spend it. Spend 25% to save 175%! For someone making $100K, that is spending $25k investment vs. $175K in recovery.
3 ways to keep your High Potential Talent for under $25K TOTAL!
- Hire an Executive Coach. Coaches don’t cost $25K so you will have plenty of money for the other two actions, too. The investment in your direct report’s development over a six-month coaching engagement will keep them engaged, keep them committed, and prepare them to take on bigger roles in the near future.
- Give them a pay bonus…now! These individuals most likely helped save the company during the pandemic. Thank them now by giving them a bonus or a salary increase. No, not to everyone, but to those who you just can’t live without. Remember, you are paying to keep them which is cheaper than paying to replace them.
- Buy them a new chair. Yes, send them a new office chair to their home office with a note that says, “I appreciate you and it is critical that you continue to have a seat at the table. Let’s talk soon about your ideas.” Giving them a voice will keep them engaged and focused on your common goal of driving the business.
Proactively spend 25% to save 175%! For someone making $100K, spend $25k investment to keep them vs. $175K in replace them. Don’t wait. In the time it took you to read this article, your employee may have received an email from a recruiter.
In a previous blog post, I predicted 2021 will be the year the high potential talent bubble will burst, and your companies will reactively scramble to keep their best people.
These high potential team members are currently running your organizations, expanding revenues, and leading efforts to modernize your business efforts. In a year of countless challenges, these individuals were the problem solvers, the leaders, and the executors that saved the company. Losing these individuals will cause costly delays, put accounts into jeopardy, and derail new initiatives. And it is expensive, with the Society of Human Resource Management estimating it will take 200% of the high potential’s salary to replace them. These leaders could be the current and future leaders of your organization, if you can keep them.
Don’t wait! Be proactive in keeping your best talent and don’t risk it. Here are 5 actions to take to bear hug your high potential talent so they will stay.
- Select your High Potential Talent: As I speak with many organizations, they haven’t taken the time to identify their high potential talent by name. Your classic HR leader will set up a 12-week project with an in-depth timeline and gnarly spreadsheets. I instead encourage you to act fast. Assemble your leadership team for one hour and create a list of 10 individuals that if lost, would create the biggest setback for the organization.
- Hire Executive Coaches: High potential talent is motivated by personal growth. Providing them with a one-on-one executive coach will reinforce your investment in them, provide them with a place to vent and process challenges, and enable them to grow as leaders. The immediate results will be higher engagement and the longer-term results will be the leader of the future for the company.
- Promote and Reward: In these times of conservative budgets and eliminations of pay increases, I recommend a different strategy. Decrease the total amount of money allocated to promotions and pay increases and focus them on the top 10 high potential talent. If you need to replace these individuals, it will cost up to 200% of their salaries. Or you can give them a pay bump now and reaffirm your support for them.
- Focus on Inclusion: A tactic to help a high potential to feel included at a company is to give them a seat at the table. Invite them to strategy meetings and conduct one-on-one meetings more frequently with these individuals to ask their perspective. These individuals are often workhorses. Elevate them to strategic partners and they will feel included in the mission of the company.
- Prioritize and Resource: Listen closely for the Exhausted Hero who subtlety asks for help prioritizing. These are your drivers, so when they need help, they need help! Sometimes priorities can’t shift, so also be prepared to provide additional resources in dollars or headcount to immediately help out. Again, these are your best people so trust them when they say they need help. If you don’t listen and act, they will act and go somewhere else!
Some of us bear hug as a constraint to keep someone in place. The actions above bear hug the high potential talent so they WANT to stay in place. If a high potential feels disrespected or unappreciated, there is nothing you can do to stop them from leaving. It is amazing how much time HR departments reactively create counter offers to try to convince a high potential talent to stay.
The best organizations focus on the five actions above to proactively ensure their high potential doesn’t want to leave. Take action today!
In the year 2021, the high potential talent bubble will burst, and your best people will leave. Unless you take action now!
Senior leaders and boards of every corporation in America will be sideswiped by these resignations. These high potential team members are currently running your organizations, expanding revenues, and leading efforts to modernize your business efforts. In a year of countless challenges, these individuals were the problem solvers, the leaders, and the executors that saved the company.
Losing these individuals will cause costly delays, put accounts into jeopardy, and derail new initiatives. And it is expensive, with the Society of Human Resource Management estimating it will take 200% of the high potential’s salary to replace them. These leaders could be the current and future leaders of your organization, if you can keep them.
The secret to keeping high potential talent is to understand why the talent bubble has been created and why is it about to burst in 2021 driving record high potential talent turnover.
- Low Resignations in 2020: With the pandemic arriving suddenly in 2020, voluntary turnover or resignations quickly decreased. High potentials were focused on retaining a paycheck. As the world stabilizes this year, look for this pent-up bubble to explode and high potential talent will begin to look for new opportunities again. If your resignations were down 50% in 2020, I predict they will be up 200% this year.
- Exhausted Heroes: 2020 brought about very accelerated change! Key decisions and workload including building work from home cultures, reinventing businesses to adjust to changes, and making challenging workforce decisions, were all placed on the shoulders of the high potentials with minimal resources. They are just plain exhausted!
- Delayed Recognition: Executives are understandability pessimistic starting 2021. Many companies are delaying pay increases, canceling bonuses, postponing leadership development, and cancelling annual award meetings. After a year of high effort, these high potentials are seeing the lack of rewards as a lack of investment in them, and therefore driving disengagement.
- Inclusion Matters: 2020 also brought the importance of feeling included and respected to the forefront of organizations. Your high potentials may not feel included because of their ethnic background, sexual orientation, age, marital status or political views. The pent-up turnover of high potential talent will feel more empowered to find an organization where they feel included in 2021.
- More Positions Available: Executives and board of directors have used the pandemic to better evaluate their talent and many have determined they need to upgrade key leadership positions. Applicants are no longer restricted to only apply locally as companies have embraced remote work, quadrupling the number of positions available to each high potential leader.
- Embracing New Beginnings: Many high potentials have felt stuck in their jobs. The new work from home experience will not be given up easily and the transition back to the office and back to commuting will be painful. Leaders will look for new opportunities that work best for them. As they try to defeat exhaustion and find balance, high potentials are feeling empowered to live their best lives. And it is way easier to apply for a job when working from home!
It isn’t too late to avoid these six warning signs of the talent bubble bursting at your organization. Companies can avoid losing valuable high potential talent by continuing promotions, hiring executive coaches, ensuring inclusion, and by giving these leaders a seat at the table. These are not costly decisions when focused on those select, high potential individuals. Listen to their concerns and take action immediately. Take note of exhaustion, and help them to find balance through delegation, reprioritization, and providing them with the resources they need to be successful. It is a new world and that world is calling your high potential talent away from you. Take time to connect with your high potentials and take immediate action to let them know you want them to stay!
I had the pleasure of speaking with Andrew Baker on his podcast this week. The Corporate Exhausted Hero is real and hopefully our conversation will create lightbulb moments for listeners and inspire others to eliminate exhaustion from their work. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-andrew-baker-show/id1494102808?i=1000503222638