Time to Focus on Your Talent

Time to Focus on Your Talent

The end of one year and the beginning of another become so busy with financial obligations and planning commitments that it becomes challenging to keep your foot on the gas for a critical component to your company’s success – employee development and satisfaction. With the first quarter now at a close, now is an excellent time to evaluate employee retention and steps that can be put in place to focus on your team.

I like to think of this as a human-centric approach to success. Without the right people possessing the right skills, your organization will never be successful. Too often we forget to formalize a plan or a time of year to evaluate how we are performing from an employee experience and development standpoint. Around this time of year, I find it helpful to take a critical look at questions like:

  • Is the team engaged?
  • Are the right people in the right roles?
  • Are there new opportunities that could open up new skillsets for anyone?
  • Are there internal resources that can support someone’s growth?

By now, I’d venture to guess that every company has some kind of performance review or evaluation process, but as leaders we must take that steps further to consider how we are investing in our talent to not only support their growth but to support their tenure on your team.

Here are three effective strategies to develop talent and support retention:

  1. Mentoring: Mentorship is key in any industry but something you can consider to amplify its impact is to support mentoring across workstreams. Encouraging dialogue and understanding of roles outside of your team’s day-to-day creates stronger relationships, better working dynamics, and can help teach skills that can enhance their roles in ways that their direct peers may not be able to influence.

    WSFS has a program dedicated to increasing resources, exposure and professional development for Associates called the BRIDGE program. This formalized, 9-month program provides professional development, networking, community engagement opportunities and access to multiple resources along with a mentor partnership based on criteria that helps participants accomplish the goals they have set.
  1. Relationship Building: Relationship building truly is a lost art these days, but it is critical especially as we continue to emerge from fully remote and hybrid work environments. This can sometimes make it more difficult to connect in person but there are many ways to encourage relationship building no matter the work environment.

    For example, encourage participation in networking events, find ways to ensure you are putting those opportunities in front of your team or encouraging them to join you in order to lead by example.
  1. Servant Leadership: These skills play major roles in servant leadership, which is an enormous priority in my role and our company overall. By flipping the script from focusing on a leader’s power and authority to focusing on the needs and development of those around them, the approach and outcome becomes drastically different. A servant leadership mindset requires the following components: flexibility, empathy, stewardship and listening. So, while the first two strategies within this article focus on learning and development opportunities for the employee, consider this to be the big learning and development opportunity for leaders. In order to best provide the guidance, tools and skills that will help your team grow and stay put, you must listen and foster leadership in others.

Investing in these areas will support your employees sticking around, especially in what can be a tumultuous environment. These skills translate easily into those that are important for successful client/customer relationships as well so the investment will be well worth it!

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