For any company, hiring and keeping top talent can have a meaningful impact on the success and financial results they can achieve. Whether it’s the waitress at the diner who makes customers feel welcomed and appreciated so they come back, or the consummate sales “closer” who hunts and lands elephant deals for a big corporation, having better people in important roles helps companies perform better. There have been numerous articles written about this subject – it’s clearly a company priority.
For many American companies, especially the ones who operate in highly-competitive markets, the ability to attract and retain top-performing employees is a major competitive advantage. The inverse to this truth is that an inability to attract and retain top employees can be a crippling disadvantage.
Consider that some companies make only products that are considered “undifferentiated”, meaning that there is no measurable, objective difference between what they produce and sell for X dollars and what a generic manufacturer could produce and sell for half that price. What allows the company to charge that premium? Their brand and their sales people. And how is this possible? Because their sales people are better and because the people who’ve created, developed, adapted, managed and maintained their brand are better than others in the market.
So how do best-in-class companies go about finding and keeping the right employees to propel themselves to the top of their industries? Different companies and thought leaders have different theories about this. There is no simple, unified theory so there is no clear consensus. Suffice to say that most management theories conclude that retention requires a combination of compensation, appreciation, and actualization.
But how does a company that strives to be at the very top of its market segment know if its policies and actions are working to retain their all-important talent? It’s not always easy?
Of course there are attrition rates… how many employees leave of their own volition in a given time period. The corollary here is that good employees will have opportunities to move on, while dud employees will not. So attrition to other professional opportunities could always be considered a loss of important talent.
Another way to measure this would be behaviorally. Are your top employees observed to be pursuing other opportunities through their activity on professional and social networks, organizations and societies, colleagues and contacts? But if they are not obviously making efforts to find or identify other professional opportunities, it may be very difficult to know just when your top talent are about to fly.
Simply put, a careful and consistent employee can keep their job hunting activity private and hidden from their employer. This would simply require them to only communicate about it from their home phone and email accounts, never take a call or email about it during business hours, and maintain complete discretion in all other ways. But given the comfort and reliance employees place on their familiar mobile devices, the discipline to do this may be a challenge.
Employees often allow part of a job search to happen on company time and with company devices. If this includes calls, emails, text messages or website visits that take place on a company – supplied mobile device, a common cell phone monitoring software like Highster Mobile could help their employers identify that they are at risk of losing the employee and take steps to ensure they can be retained.