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The Art of Retaining Top Talent: Compensation

As we move through a new year with a general feel that the economy is rebounding, some of your top employees will bulk up their resumes and LinkedIn profiles and start thinking about making a change. Will money buy their loyalty? Probably not. It may keep some for a little longer, but if you don’t give them what they really want then your problem won’t go away. But what do they want?

I just needed a change.

Is this just a pat answer to shoo off nosy aunts and colleagues or is there more to it? There’s a common misconception that people who are unhappy in their jobs will not perform well. This is especially untrue with millennials. They’ll have the knowledge base and the ability to perform tasks very well even when they don’t feel all that fulfilled in their role. For many, It’s the only way they know how to do anything. So it can come as a shock when they leave.

When there’s no reliable tells to employee dissatisfaction how do you avoid it? Well, talking to them and trying to find out what they want is a good place to start. It’s not easy, but even efforts that feel true and not part of some corporate mandate will let your employees know that their happiness is important. And, that’s what really motivates.

In a widely cited paper, Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton reported that one’s sense of emotional well-being increases with salary levels up to $75,000, then it plateaus. So, while you need to pay people so they can do things like pay their bills, you’re not providing the type of motivation or reward they’re looking for with money alone. It takes a lot more.

Customizing the Approach

This is the era of pleasing customers with experiences tailored to them. Your company wins when it figures out how to do this well. But for some reason compensation systems are still based on the premise that what works for some people will work for all. Retaining good talent really comes down to having really good managers who are good at engaging their teams. In fact, one of the leading causes of organizational disengagement is incompetent leadership. So while money is important, it still can’t buy the things that really matter to your company.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.