4 Common Top Talent Retention Blunders

Gartner, having worked hand in hand with HR management for years, have studied more than 20,000 employees who are considered top talent in more than 100 global companies.


What they found is that the majority of management blunder badly when attempting to develop champions for leadership, sometimes even hindering their development to the point of loss of income.


It is a mistake to put line managers in charge of your top talent. Instead, champions should be viewed as long-term corporate assets and as such, need to be managed in a way that supports that.


To follow are the top 4 mistakes found with regards to top talent retention; by studying them your organisation can avoid making the same blunders:

Mistake 1: Assuming top talent are all engaged

It would be easy to assume that those of your talent who shine brightest, are also the most engaged to your brand.

But here’s the reality:


Just because top talent are good at what they do, does not mean they have a personal connection to your business, or that they work with passion and are great brand ambassadors.


Gallup reports that high performers who are not sold out to your business are just as likely to leave as employees who are unhappy and who have performance issues.


Don’t assume your high performers are happy or that they will remain loyal to you. In fact, when top talent becomes disenchanted, they will be the first to jump ship.


Related: The Top 3 Career Cravings of Professional Millennials


Mistake 2: Assuming that once top talent, always top talent

It would be another mistake to assume that all high performers are successful.


It may shock you to find out that more than 70% of today’s champions actually lack critical qualities that are essential to their success in future functions.


In other words, top performers may be champions in their current roles, but not so much in their next positions.


The three qualities that best define top talent are:


  1. Ability to do their jobs well. This includes emotional intelligence, intellect and core skills for the job.
  2. High commitment and personal connection to the company they’re employed by.
  3. Aspiration; which includes ambition, self motivation and passion.


If any of these three qualities show shortcomings, it can significantly curb the future success of champions.


Related: Revamping Your Internship Program to Attract Top Talent


Mistake 3: Assuming die-hard loyalty

In the movies, the great leader, the hero, stays with his people on a sinking ship.


Don’t expect your top performers to do the same. Shining stars will not stand for pay cuts, salary freezes and layoffs, because most champions know their value and how much easier it would be to find a new position at greener pastures.


Your top performers will be the first to abandon an organisation who expects die-hard loyalty.


They will not suffer alongside you.  

Mistake 4: Focusing on retention programs instead of retention processes

When business focuses on retention programs instead of building retention into processes, you can be sure of minimal success rate in terms of holding on to top performers.


This is because in order for retention strategies to work, they have to have executive buy-in and accountability.


Retention processes need the same attention as sales, operations and marketing processes, but instead, most corporations view it as something to be added on the wayside. That is a fatal but very common error.

At Right International, our speciality is finding the

very best insurance industry talent.

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