I recently wrote about how to demoralize, discourage, and disenchant top talent. This is about how to retain that talent. Like the prior column, this one is based on one of the top columns of the year from Strategy + Business, the Booz & Co. publication: “Retaining Top Talent: Yes, It Really Is All About Them.”
Prefatory clarification: What follows isn’t addressed to your inner circle of key leaders, or to the Super Rainmakers, all of whom you presumably know intimately, and with whom you talk about what follows all the time, in ways tailored to each individual. Rather, what follows is addressed to how you deal with all the talent that’s not at the tippy-top of your firm already.
Here’s how the Strategy + Business piece starts:
The memory of “suddenly” losing one of your best and brightest never seems to fade. The story is always the same: They weren’t looking, but a great opportunity just fell into their lap (yeah, right).
Hearing the news makes your heart sink and shifts your reality. It’s not just business; it’ personal. They aren’t just leaving the organization; they’re leaving you. […] To cope, you rationalize: “People are responsible for their own careers.” You think to yourself: “They come and they go. Nothing I could have done. No one is indispensable. No big deal.
But it is a big deal. Losing high performers is painful, both personally and professionally.
So how to best keep yourself from again suffering that emotional setback and professional reversal?