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Truth, Lies, And Talent – 3 Talent Retention Myths And How To REALLY Keep Top Performers Happy

Truth, Lies, And Talent – 3 Talent Retention Myths And How To REALLY Keep Top Performers Happy

Talent turnover is an emergency when you’re in charge as a CEO, CRO, CSO, or COO,

As a leader, you might already be rethinking past solutions to talent emergencies. In 2021, you can’t afford to waste time fighting against mythical problems so let’s get right to it.

3 Talent Emergencies – Myths, Truths, And Solutions

Talent Emergency 1: High Turnover


Myth: People Leave Bosses, Not Organizations.

Truth: Talented Employees Leave Bad Leadership More Often Than Bad Managers.

In a survey of more than 175 teams composed of 8 people or more, Dr. Jason McPherson found that a great manager does not even come close to making up for poor leadership & that great leadership causes retention numbers to increase in spite of poor management. 38% of team members intended to stay in companies with poor leadership and great managers, while 60% intended to stay in companies with great leadership and poor managers. In other words, competent leadership creates adaptive systems that satisfy the needs of top performers and encourage employee engagement and retention.

Talent Emergency 2: Competitor Poaching


Myth: Better Pay & More Perks Make Talented Employees Stay.

Truth: Proactive Planning & Personal Acknowledgement Make Talent Stay.

The best salespeople are easily poached from places that don’t consider the personal side of business in strategic planning efforts.  If you’re in a leadership position as the CEO, CRO, or CSO, you already know that pay, benefits, and remote work options matter; What we often miss as leaders is the need for a personal touch. If this seems overwhelming to your sales managers, encourage them to start at the top. Too often, well-meaning managers address problems from the bottom up. Instead, take a top-down view and find innovative, personal ways to satisfy top performers by proactively planning for their needs in advance. The only way to attract, engage & retain the best employees to your sales organization is to convince them that you prioritize their needs over outdated bureaucratic norms. Strategic choices can be informed by one-on-one conversations between sales managers and salespeople. After all, “Stay” interviews are a better choice than final interviews with a disengaged worker.

Talent Emergency 3: Unmet Quotas


Myth: Talented Salespeople Are Motivated By Quotas.

Truth: Strategic Alignment Motivates Top Performers.

There is a simple way to determine whether your business strategies, revenue goals, and employee engagement and retention practices are in alignment – and it’s not staring at the bottom line. By the time you notice unmet expectations, burnout, and missed quotas, you’re usually too late. Think of the Great Resignation as the Grim Reaper of sales talent, just waiting to steal your best teams and most lucrative territories while you’re distracted by the wrong problem. The bottom line is not the problem – the bottom line is the result of a series of missteps. The missteps are not the problem – the mistakes are the result of systemic issues. The buck stops at the mission behind strategic choices. Based on the past with little thought about the future, many missions misfire. Bottom line results are a lagging indicator, an end result of misalignment. Retention is not just a numbers game, no matter how much we wish it were so.

Create A Strong Bottom Line For 2022 By Acting NOW

Strategic Alignment is complex, time-consuming, personal, data-driven, and research-based. Consider establishing more educational and developmental opportunities for sales managers. Budget time and money for organizational assessments and procedural reviews. Learn what works for individual employees. Finally, step back from standard operating procedures, bottom line-based reviews, project-based performance feedback, and typical annual engagement surveys. Move towards answers and future-based planning. If you know what’s so about your sales organization, you can create disruptive, effective strategies to help your sales teams achieve not only their quota but also their internal goals. Motivation from the inside out is an unstoppable achievement generator.

Are your top-performing salespeople happy? Do they enjoy their work? Are they satisfied with the perks and eager to realize the company’s mission? Are your managers and leaders clear about WHY this matters? Does your mission need to be reconsidered? When is the last time your managers talked with their salespeople about corporate values? Why is your corporation the best place for your top talent? What is your employee value proposition? Are your managers in alignment with all of this?

If your company hasn’t changed almost everything since the COVID pandemic, you are probably off course. But it’s not too late. Get the data, encourage wide circles of concern, and continual, safe feedback loops (Let’s discover why we’re not seeing progress together”).

Create a strong bottom line for 2022 by acting now. Stop wishing things were different and notice how things are. With clarity and conviction, we can truly succeed beyond our wildest dreams.

If you’d like to discover innovative ways to assess and improve the performance of your sales organization, schedule a call with Harry Dunklin.