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Three key jobs that many retention programs ignore

 

For over ten years now, the top human resource strategists have followed a recurring theme which is where they want their star players working on the roles that are most important for the business. Building on this, there are six leverage roles which all companies should appoint their highest-calibre people. However, the fact remains that many companies consistently overlook most of their employees and as a result, they run the risk of losing their highly skilled employees who can actually have a great impact on the company.

Below are the roles that usually get lots of attention among most companies:

  • Senior leaders (includes the head of design at apparel companies or chief marketing officers at consumer product companies, for instance)
  • The connectors in the middle and although this was a role that was ignored in the past, this middle management position has now become a highly recognized position that is critical to effectively carry out a company strategy. This, for example, could be the position of field sales managers who direct salespeople in the highest-volume areas.
  • Future leaders of good potential who are the up-and-coming individuals who are expected to fill the top management positions in a firm.

Unfortunately though, many organization give little attention to retaining employees who hold three other roles that are often overlooked. These roles include:

  1. Experts: Essential experts are very important to the strategic direction of the organization, product development and process efficiency. These individuals usually do not have – or don’t want – management roles and responsibilities.
  2. Customer experience creators: Employees in this role interact with the company’s valuable customers and determine if nor not they stay as customers. Jobs in this role are related to sales, field service positions and customer contact centers.
  3. Critical contractors: These are contingent employees who are different from the standard independent contractor in the fact that they are high-priced agents with valuable expertise in something that the company doesn’t possess.

The above three roles are not related to management-track jobs so companies overlook the value of retaining high-performing people in them. Below, we take a closer look at the above mentioned roles.

Essential experts

These individuals possess important knowledge but they do not want to manage other employees. This type of role in common in engineering, life sciences companies and technology where domain skills in arcane areas can be vital to market success. This expert role is becoming more and more important in several other industries too such as in communications and creative sectors.

Essential experts typically don’t like managing others and they only want to manage themselves and this is precisely why retaining them is totally different from maintaining someone else who wants to scale the hierarchy by taking on larger operations.

The questions arises – How can you retain essential experts?

Competitive compensation is practically table stakes for these individuals because after all, they can take their expertise elsewhere rather easily. This is why your work environment is a primary concern and essential experts expect to do work which they think aligns with their values.

Another important feature is capability development, particularly in obtaining skills and applying it to projects. Essential experts are lifelong learners who want to be recognized as leading professionals in their field so helping them to be recognized as thought leaders can go a long way in retaining them.

Customer experience creators

These are people who influence whether your visitors convert into customers and if those customers convert into repeating clients. They are also the salespeople who need to do lots of handholding for the customers or they are the ones who interact with clients after a sale.

The most important retention drivers to keep individuals in this role is organizational reputation and compensations. Competitive compensations, however, is a minimum requirement and they can usually make more money elsewhere.

Organizational reputation is extremely important because employees always want to feel good about the services or products they are selling. Doing so will ensure that key talent is retained within the organization, which in turn is instrumental to the company’s prosperity.

It should be noted that it how much you pay doesn’t really matter that much; if you’re not in line with the employees’ personal aspirations, then they would eventually leave. As far as work environment is concerned, a good idea would be to introduce flexibility in order to give them time off so they can pursue their passions. This could include employee outings or day trips where they can have fun and feel like part of the team.

Critical contractors

Independent contractors have become universal and they are here to stay. Some of the most important contractors working in organizations possess deep rooted expertise and skills in key area so keeping critical contractors in the fold is especially important. Make sure that you provide them with the best set of materials in order to complete the job and equip them with the latest technologies and best research facilities.

Compensation is also very important. This doesn’t necessarily mean offering a career path inside your organization; rather, help a critical contractor to develop his credibility in the marketplace even further. It should also be understood that a company’s reputation is very important for critical contractors. They are individuals who want to work with winners and companies with strong brands have a greater chance at attracting critical contractors and weaker brands will often find it harder to do so.

Conclusion

Keeping your organization’s talented workers who include the above mentioned roles and engaging them in their work begins with understanding that senior leaders are not always your company’s most important assets. Directing your retaining strategies towards those at the top management will make you undervalue other roles which can drive competitive advantage to your company. To do so will literally be like letting valuable talent slip right through your fingers.

 

 

 

 

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