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Managing well: Motivating and retaining talent

Laura Ilioaea

If you’re managing a team of top talent, it’s important that you understand why they’re so valuable. It’s not just about how much they earn or what skills they bring to the table. You need to recognize that your best employees are motivated by more than money; they want to work for an organization where their contributions will be recognized and appreciated.

They want managers who listen to them and who set clear expectations for how those goals will be achieved. Most importantly, these individuals want managers who provide feedback and create opportunities for growth within the organization. If you can develop this kind of relationship with your top talent, it’ll help both sides achieve their goals in ways that benefit everyone involved!

Having a strong talent team

Talent teams are groups of leaders and managers responsible for all aspects of human resources in an organization, including recruiting, training, and retaining talent. A strong talent team can help you build a better culture by developing your employees so they’re more engaged with their work and with each other.

Listen to your team members

It’s easy to get caught up in what you think is the most important thing for your company, but that may not be true. You need to listen to all the people who will have an impact on your business and take their insights into account as you make decisions, whether they’re employees or customers, vendors or competitors, industry experts, or regulators. Listening gives you a better understanding of how best to serve your customers—and it also helps keep everyone happy at work.

Leading by example

If you want to see your people take initiative, be sure you are taking the initiative first. You won’t get any results if you only say that performance is important and then don’t act like it yourself. Your team will know if what you say is not backed up by what you do. In other words, setting an example is the best way to improve your employees’ performance—and make yourself look good in front of them at the same time!

Recognize the top performers

Recognizing the talent in your organization is essential to motivating and retaining top talent. Recognition can come in many forms, from a promotion to a pay raise or bonus. The key is that employees should feel like they’re on the path to success at your company, which will lead them to stay for longer periods of time.

Help your team members help themselves

A key way to retain top talent is by helping them grow themselves. In order for your company to attract and keep talented employees, you need to provide the resources they need to do their jobs well. This means giving them opportunities for professional development. Look for ways that they can advance their careers on their own time, such as offering growth opportunities, opportunities to build on their current skillset, or expanding their skills in an area of interest.

Train your talent team

Training is one of the most important methods for developing top talent. It provides the time and resources needed to develop skills, knowledge, expertise, confidence, and leadership skills in individuals. This can be especially helpful for increasing employee engagement since these are so often related to job satisfaction as well as performance ratings.

Have powerful feedback mechanisms in place

Effective feedback is one of the key factors that distinguish high-performing leaders from those who are underperforming. Feedback is a two-way street; it’s not just you giving it, but also your team members giving it to you. 

Your goal should be to make sure everyone knows what they need to do better, and how they can improve their performance in order to reach their goals. That way, everyone will be motivated and engaged in achieving results for the company.

It’s also important for employees to know how their work fits into the bigger picture of what needs to be done at your company or organization. You should be able to provide consistent answers whenever asked about the following: How does what I do contribute? What are some areas where I can improve? What skills do I need in order to be more effective?

Set expectations and goals appropriately

To set expectations correctly, you need to strike the right balance between too high and too low.

Setting expectations too high can lead to disappointment and frustration when employees don’t meet them. This is especially true with new hires who haven’t yet learned their roles and responsibilities, or for employees who have recently had their workload increased.

Setting expectations too low may imply your lack of confidence in an employee’s ability to succeed at their job. It can also lead to underperformance from the employee since they feel like they don’t need to try hard enough or put forth effort into meeting those expectations.

Setting expectations early allows you time for course corrections mid-year if necessary, but it also means employees aren’t working towards something specific until later on in their tenure at your company – meaning that there’s less motivation involved here than with setting goals closer together in time.

Create a work environment that fosters creativity and collaboration among the team members

At the heart of every business is the creative process. While creativity can be difficult to define, it’s safe to say that it involves generating ideas or taking risks. The ability to think outside the box and be innovative helps companies solve problems and grow their businesses.

Creativity is also important for collaboration-  the process by which people with different

backgrounds combine their skills towards a shared goal. Collaboration helps drive innovation by bringing together diverse ideas and perspectives; because everyone learns from each other when they collaborate with others, they become better problem solvers while completing tasks more efficiently than they would alone.


We know that, as a manager, it can be difficult to find the time and energy to create effective strategies for managing your team members – but the payoff is worth it! By investing in your people, you’ll not only see them grow exponentially in their skills and responsibilities but also help them feel more invested in their work so they stay with your company for a long time.

Motivating and retaining top talent is critical to the long-term success of your company. You can motivate and retain your best employees so they stay with the company for a long time, get promoted, and continue to drive innovation that positively impacts customer satisfaction, financial results, and employee motivation.

Laura Ilioaea

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