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Secrets to Retain Your Top Talent

Ohana Editor Blog

The primary secrets to retain top talent in your organization are hardly secrets.

To be candid, the primary “secrets” are merely your ticket into having an excellent workforce.

These four secrets –  integrity, leadership, excellence, and clarity of vision –  are the entry point. Businesses certainly can, and do, run with less, but having the top talent in your industry is not possible without at least these four basics.

The Entry Fee – Four basics you must nail to attract top talent

Businesses with integrity have great reputations for a reason. Recognize and reward both independent and team work.  More positive and motivated employees will result.

If the leadership in your organization is well trained and placed in leadership roles based on their capacity to lead, you can retain team members much longer than if you promote your best coder to lead the whole coding team.

If “good enough” is your mantra, employees won’t aspire to any more than that . Employees who show up ready to give the most will be demoralized by a mentality that isn’t striving for excellence. Top players keep showing up for the chance to be brilliant, not a chance to be “good enough.”

Make sure everyone knows why you are there. This may seem obvious, but without clarity of vision, great performers can easily feel unanchored from the organization. They cannot point themselves where they need to go to achieve their own success or the success of the business.

The Dance – Five dance moves you must master to retain top talent

Make sure you earn your entry fee. Integrity, leadership, excellence, and vision are your entry fee. If you have mastered these, move on to retaining great people using the following principles.

Live your values.

If your corporate values are emblazoned on every wall of your building, and yet your daily business has little connection to them, people know. They may stay, but they know you’re full of it.

Employers who bring their values to life in every interaction with clients, employees, vendors, and competitors create an irresistible culture. Bake living your values into the culture; if your company value is, for example, “visionary,” then that must be part of every decision.

Should you interview someone who is clearly reactionary, but is an otherwise knowledgeable and experienced candidate, the value absolutely must win. No matter how great that candidate seems, if they do not share the company’s value, they are not the right candidate.

Be an organization of people.

Realize that your people are your biggest promoters and detractors of your organization. They are literally your brand. Great ad placement on the web is nice, but it’s nothing compared to the people who are your real billboards in your city and in your industry. Build people internally, and they build you externally.

Build in career mobility.

The top talent in each field expects, and – if they perform – deserve a way to move up through the organization. Having an employee experience/career path map is one way to assure both candidates and seasoned employees that there is upward mobility available to them as they mature in their careers.

If you want to keep them, give them a map to follow. If you do not map career paths at your organization, know that other companies have already done it and your talent will follow opportunity.

Build in a constant feedback loop.

It’s no longer sufficient to say, “I have an open-door policy.” Especially if it becomes obvious if you do not.

No employee should ever find out anything new during a performance review.  Retain top talent by delivering feedback in a timely manner.   This way behaviors are corrected or missions redirected as quickly as possible.

Continuous feedback offers on-time coaching and advice. Personal contact between leaders and their team members makes people feel acknowledged and valued. Springing news that you’re disappointed in an employee’s review neither helps the employee grow, nor helps them feel valued.

Purpose is paramount.

In the fight to attract and retain top talent, you will find that employees need more than a paycheck to invest their long-term career with you. If they see that their contribution, their role, and the part they play in your organization’s mission is valuable, then they can also see the wider impact this could have on the world.

Employers must make purpose and mission clear. An authentic, emotional connection with candidates and employees is critical if you want to keep your best people


Today’s employees want to feel involved, cared for and in-the-know. And they want to do this in a way that feels natural, with the times, and easy. We created Ohana to help you.  Schedule a demo today!