By Cile Johnson
It’s no secret that there’s a war for rare and highly valuable talent. What is a secret in many organizations however is who should be considered ‘rare and highly valuable.’ In a recently released white paper by Career Systems International (CSI), the secret is revealed.
“Keeping the Talent You Need Most: Tailoring Your Retention Strategies to Six Roles that Drive Exceptional Impact” uses best practice examples and research to outline the key roles that drive exceptional impact and what may be surprising to some is that not all of these roles are in the C-Suite or ‘traditional’ strategic positions.
Bain & Company in their book Time, Talent, Energy: Overcome Organizational Drag & Unleash Your Team’s Productive Power calls people in these roles ‘difference makers.’ In the white paper, CSI dubs them ‘leverage roles’ for the power they have to move key financial and operational metrics of success: revenue, profits, customer acquisition, and more.
What are these leverage roles? They are:
- Indispensable Senior Leaders
- Essential Experts
- Connector in the Middle
- Customer Experience Creators
- Critical Contractors
- Leverage Role Successors
Notice that not all positions (Essential Experts and Critical Contractors) involve people who want to move up the corporate ladder and most of these positions are not at the top of the organization chart. Therefore, current efforts today to focus on high-potential leaders may be grossly insufficient especially for the one leverage role – critical contractors – which can’t be filled by employees.
While recognizing these roles is important, even more critical to keeping the talent you need is understanding what matters most to each. Research suggests that what does matter can be broken down into the areas of development, leadership, work environment, job performance, compensation and organizational performance. These ‘retention drivers’ are different for each of the leverage roles and for those companies that don’t tailor their retention strategies, they are leaving themselves at greater risk of losing these ‘rare and highly valuable’ players.
Even so, companies may not be able to separate from the notion of ‘star players’ long enough to fully assess which jobs make or break an organization’s success and may fear creating a system which relies on and ‘rewards’ only a few. However, when organizations delineate key roles and tailor retention programs for them, they build a strong competitive advantage and this is especially the case for companies that identify and nurture a leverage role that competitors don’t covet in their businesses.
In today’s hyper-competitive, hyper-digital environment, a “one-size-fits-all” approach to organizational retention will no longer work and it won’t keep the most valuable people in the most valuable roles. Companies with deep insights about these roles and retention strategies that keep top-notch people in them will be hard to beat.
Click here to download a complementary copy of the white paper, “Keeping the Talent You Need Most: Tailoring Your Retention Strategies to Six Roles that Drive Exceptional Impact.”