• Sunday, March 03, 2024
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The ‘war for talent’


It’s no longer news that the search for the best and the brightest will become a constant, costly battle, a fight with no final victory. Not only will companies have to devise more imaginative hiring practices; they will also have to work harder to keep their best people.

The ‘war for talent’ is no longer only about getting the best hands but also about keeping them engaged. As Doug Conant, former Campbell’s Soup CEO, once noted, “To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.”

Engaged employees are fully involved and emotionally connected to their work. They are constantly looking for ways to do what they do better, faster, cheaper, more efficiently and effectively.

They care about the future of their organisation, hence are willing to invest discretionary effort to ensure that the strategic objectives of their companies are achieved. The heads, hearts and hands of employees are involved in moving an organisation forward when they are engaged.

As much discretionary effort is a phrase directly linked to engagement and how engagement scores are deciphered, it involves staff going above and beyond – and doing so because they are truly concerned about the organisation.

Fundamentally, discretionary effort should be grounded in the basics – a workable performance management system and good people leaders – for starters.

The Ten C’s of Employee Engagement by Dan Crim and Gerard Seijts

1. Connect: Leaders must show that they value employees.

2. Career: Leaders should provide challenging and meaningful work with opportunities for career advancement. Most people want to do new things on their job.

3. Clarity: Leaders need to provide clear line of sight and clarity to employees

4. Convey: Leaders clarify their expectations about employees and provide feedback.

5. Congratulate: Praise and recognition for strong performance needs to be stepped up a notch!

6. Contribute: People want to know that their input matters and that they are contributing to the organisation’s success in a meaningful way.

7. Control: Employees value control over the flow and pace of their jobs and leaders can create opportunities for employees to exercise this control

8. Collaborate: Studies show that, when employees work in teams and have the trust and cooperation of their team members, they outperform individuals and teams which lack good relationships.

9. Credibility: Leaders should strive to maintain a company’s reputation and demonstrate high ethical standards. People want to be proud of their jobs, their performance, and their organisation.

10. Confidence: Good leaders help create confidence in a company by being exemplars of high ethical and performance standards.

Ngozi Adebiyi is the lead consultant at OutsideIn HR, a firm that focuses on practical interventions that address the challenges of businesses today. The Firm also specialises in HR Business Partnering, Engagement & Retention with the goal of “Revolutionising HR in Nigeria”.

Ngozi Adebiyi