Top view of business people with their hands together in a circleCompanies invest time and other resources in the acquisition of talent and it makes perfect sense for them to do so. However, day in and day out routines can bring the most prolific of people down a notch or two, and that’s where managers and CEOs need to step in and take charge.

All successful companies realize the need to keep their employees’ spirits high in order for them to perform at their optimum levels throughout the week, month and year. It is the responsibility of good leadership to create a culture that promotes employee well being, reduces burn out, and fosters a feeling of real contribution.

Creating such culture will help companies not only attract the best of the best but also retain them in the long run. Below are some ways companies have created such a culture:

1.  Defining goals

Regardless of outside influences (such as recessions, high unemployment rates,etc.) companies need to define their values, mission, cultural philosophy and goals. These must cascade from the top tier management to the janitor. Everyone working for a company must be able to define the company’s culture and live it. Goals, when accomplished, give a sense of fulfillment to members of a team and that’s inspiration in itself.

2.  Growth opportunities

Top talent never underestimates the value of education and training. They know that their future depends on their continued learning. Therefore, managers must provide opportunities for growth, such as workshops and training sessions, project leadership in addition to normal work and the opportunity to add value to the company by leading and participating in cross-functional teams.

3.  Self-motivation

Contemporary executives inspire their team members to remain motivated. While most top talent is a master of self-motivation, the manager’s ability to get the best out of his or her staff is a make-or-break factor in the success of a company and cannot, therefore, be left to employees alone.

4.  Appreciation

Small actions can create a massive impact for many people and your top talent is no exception to this rule. Appreciation for jobs well done will keep any employee, especially top talent, inspired and hungry for more accolades. Managers should be generous with appreciation, listen to ideas, ask for more contributions and collaboration in challenging projects, include workers in decision making and praise them whenever possible.

5.  Provide feedback

Sitting down for a formal feedback session is another way of keeping your top talent involved. This is not the passing-by-pat-on-the-back comment but a serious regular meeting. In these times of economic uncertainty, managers must give positive feedback, listen to their concerns, encourage them, take interest in their careers and build positive, one-on-one rapport. Such interaction will make an employee feel more valued as a person and not just another brick in the wall.

An article talked about how a New Jersey hospital used social networking and competition to get their employees in shape when traditional notice-boards and newsletters failed to inspire.

Being a little creative and coming up with out-of-the-box ideas contributes toward talent retention and motivation. Concurrently, such motivational techniques should not be used once but inculcated into the larger cultural context of organizations in order to be truly effective in providing long-term results.

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