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Archive for the ‘Organization, Talent & Change’ Category

How To Lose Your Recently Hired Top Talent?

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Losing You Top Talent

You have hired top talent? Want to build a star team?

But, what if you lose them soon?

One of the toughest challenges organizations face in today’s time is that of losing key talent; it comes at a premium and it hurts even more when your recently hired or promoted top talent leaves you. However, if you are not watchful of certain sure-shot holes in their engagement at work from early days on, you may end up losing them sooner than you could think, that too without even realizing it sometimes. And that may happen irrespective of the career-levels they belong to. Here is how:

  1. You and/or the Company do not treat them with respect. By respect, I don’t mean you are supposed to bow down to them everyday! But surely, if you do not value their talent, capabilities and experience, they will get disoriented after a point in time and become disengaged. Not giving autonomy as desired or assured, quagmiring them in bureaucratic hurdles, not involving them in key decisions or simply not keeping them duly informed about the crucial events, activities and/or plans –  it will send a signal that you or your organization do not know how to utilize such talent. Well, that’s the start, of losing them!
  2. You ask them to prove themselves, without creating necessary support for them. Well, most often than not, we all know that management jobs are all about managing increasing degrees of ambiguity. However, that certainly won’t cover up for the need of support even the top performers would need, whether hired from outside or promoted to higher or moved to newer roles from within. How often you’d hear stories about disengagement with work due to lack of support – whether resources like team or infrastructure or the lack of willingness from those around to get such talent to seamlessly settle down. It builds the frustrations over a period of time. Loss of talent, thereafter, is only a matter of time…
  3. You put them under a weak boss. Now, that’s surely a killer. A weak boss is one who is definite recipe for a sooner-than-later-disengaged and fast-disappearing top talent. No one wants to work with a manager who wants to please everyone, doesn’t take a call, appears either lost or struggling, and doesn’t stand up for his people. Plus, hiring top talent is easy, keeping such a bunch of individuals engaged as a team is a far bigger task. A leader has to work double shift in ensuring he is on top of people dynamics, manage conflicting views and yet, do not allow negativity to seep in. Wherever these things don’t exist – top talent too doesn’t exit for long!
  4. Too much uncertainty around the goals. If you hear – “Let’s do this as a top priority”, and then find definition of priority changing every month – this talent is surely not going to bear it for long. Top talent, as desired, is often referred to as result-oriented and process driven individuals, who bring a lot of method to the madness – to quote the proverbial management sutra. Yet, shifting goals and priorities aren’t a best way of engaging with them. Moreover, it alienates the teams below too, who find themselves working on difference tasks every other day, without the earlier ideas taking any concrete shape.
  5. You and your Company does not listen to them. Another definitive recipe of losing star performers. You hired them for their skills, talent and experience. And yet, you either do not listen to their views, or ignore their ideas. And I am not referring to simply hearing them out. We all would agree that not recognizing the performance and/or efforts is a big derailer for engagement for any employee. However, in my experience, not listening to your top talent is a bigger trouble-maker. When such talent sees little patience in the organization to listen to an outsider’s view or an expert’s opinion or worse, even ridicule their thoughts… be prepared for a replacement hiring soon!

As an HR professional, I meet a lot of people on a daily basis; I listen to them, understand their challenges, and sometimes, I just meet them to give them an opportunity to talk freely. I meet people who have recently joined, people who have spent six months or less and people who have spent decades. I meet them all! Yet, my most important leanings have come from my interactions with employees who leave within 6-12 months of joining the company. A great boss I worked with taught me a wonderful lesson – “an employee’s emotions are purest on two occasions – firstly, when he joins the company and then again, when he is about to leave it.” Such employees teach me a lot, really! Above 5 pointers rank amongst the top reasons when I see star performers, who have recently joined, become disengaged and leave the organization. Same can be said of the top talent that was moved to new or higher roles and do not find it engaging.

That is my experience and I have found it helpful to manage the newly inducted top talent; I just watch out for the above five gaps. Do share yours. Is there something you would want to add to the list?


Image-credit: onthe-wayout.com

Connect Over LinkedIn – Only With A Reason…

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Connect For A ReasonEveryday, I receive over a dozen connection-invites over LinkedIn. I did a check today – in the last 20 days, only 2 of the connection requests actually came with a real request or a note, stating their reasons to connect with me. Awfully small percentage, isn’t it?

This trend was under my observation for some good time now… and I wanted a solution. So, about a month ago, I clearly defined my thoughts under my profile’s section on ‘Advice For Contacting…’, outlining thus; “If you wish to connect with me and are sending an invite, please do share the reasons for connecting with me; if we share something in common or there’s something to build upon. I would not treat LinkedIn as a ‘friend’s request’ platform. Thank you.”

Yet, no avail! Such blind requests continue to pour in even as this goes into publication…

If you are on this professional network, I am sure you too receive similar requests… And I can safely hedge that the stats in your case won’t be much different. And that certainly isn’t professional by any yardstick. It is quite akin, I would say, to turning up in a formal interview attired in distressed denims!

Simple thought – if you wish to connect with someone over LinkedIn you already don’t know in real life, please state the reasons for connecting. Everyone’s reason to connect may differ – it may be asking for a job, asking for an advice or help, or simply because there is any other common interest area between you two – it will help the real cause of networking.

I am sure, if you were to go back to your LinkedIn contacts and do a random check, you would locate several contacts with whom we connected for no reason, and those who haven’t really ‘connected’ after connecting initially over LinkedIn! Quite naturally, such a connection would have made no positive difference to each other.

That not what LinkedIn was made for, if I recall it right!

Do you agree?


Image-credit: linkedstrategies.com

HR and it’s Customers & Products…

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Seth GodinI came across this image online today and couldn’t help drawing a parallel and thinking about us HR folks. Do we innovate and create useful & beneficial products and/or solutions for our customers – the business fellas – as a part of our work-life, helping business do better….


we simply try and offer the same old, tried and tested HR agenda to them in a fancy, customized manner, helping our KRAs get completed?

Think about it…

Are you engaged ?

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A new thought on employee engagement – useful read for all new people managers…


The most abused word after “leader” in the corporate world is “engagement”. Every team, every firm, every manager is tasked with it and elaborate plans are made each year to get colleagues engaged because all studies by every known, unknown expert says engaged employees are the most productive. And that is the truth.

What is so special about an engaged employee ? This is a person who is full of beans, trying different things, solving problems, innovating, happy and overall someone who is in “the Zone” all the time. What gets each of us to be that way is different, and that’s where the challenge comes in. The corporate world likes to have a standard process for everything and engagement does not lend itself to a standard process because what engages me can disengage you and vice versa. So what does one do as a manager ? It does start…

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Written by RRGwrites

July 7, 2014 at 4:38 PM

Do You Allow Mistakes To Your Team?

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Everyday, I come across juniors who complain against their bosses – and the most common one is – lack of empathy when they fail… a junior is just not allowed a mistake or an error…


My first boss taught me a lot many things, which benefitted my personal and professional life. He was a true leader and from him, I learnt some invaluable lessons in people leadership.

As a budding and raring HR professional back then, one of his sentences that gave me tremendous confidence and encouragement was:

You cannot make any such mistake that I cannot correct…”

imageThis one sentence acted as a big motivator for a youngster like me. It helped me take well-intentioned risks, encouraged me to push the envelope, be courageous in my actions and at the same time, instilled a sense of ownership and responsibility in me, that I shouldn’t let him down. The authenticity of his leadership made me believe that his support is there for me; that he has my back.

Over the period of last 8 years, as I graduated to become a people leader myself…

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Written by RRGwrites

July 4, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Do You Believe in Power of Team Meetings?

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It is very easy to hire great talent in one’s team… not at all easy to make them work cohesively, leading to world class delivery…
Exploring the role that constructive team-meetings play in building such high-performing teams…


Power of TeamsHow often one comes across a team that is disconnected, with each other and with the team-leader? Quite often, you’d say. And among several other reasons that may exist behind this disconnect, one of the biggest reason to my mind is that the team doesn’t meet often, doesn’t get together as a unit – in person. This issue is ever increasing in today’s virtually-operating corporate world. Blame it on oft-quoted ‘cost-saving’ and ‘bringing-people-together-using-technology’ mindset; leaders aren’t really meeting their teams, in person, as regularly as they should. I find this applicable to the teams where individuals are based at different locations as well as to the teams based at one location.

Please don’t take me wrong; I am not against virtual meetings and use of technology in this regard. Technology has been quite useful in bridging distances. Plus, I am also not merely advocating off-sites and/or wasting time & money…

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Written by RRGwrites

June 27, 2014 at 11:54 AM

‘Seek’ Your True Calling…

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Seek Finding Your True Calling

Just completed reading an insightful and extremely useful book – Seek – Finding Your True Calling’ by Rakesh Godhwani.

If you are an engineering or MBA student looking ahead to make a career choice, this book is a great investment – trust me, Rs.150/- spent on this book and one or two days spent in reading this masterpiece, albeit written simply, will fetch you a great ROI – provides you with ample food for thought – specially when you are at the cusp of making a crucial choice – what job or career to go for…

The book explores the key reasons why a large number of students leave their first job within first year of joining. However, quite usefully for the students, the author approaches the question differently … Why did they end up in these jobs in the first place?

Sounds interesting? It is, indeed. I meet a lot of young students and working professionals who battle a fierce challenge of poor engagement with their first jobs. And I can say, if not all, this book certainly attempts to provide some solutions, some guidance, and certainly forces you to make a more informed choice, rather than merely going for that great corporate brand and/or 6-digit salary offered at campus.

My first boss taught me a wonderful lesson; he said, “…find your true calling; promotions, salary-hikes, fame, and above all, an engaged work-life will follow you on their own…”

If you are a student aiming to enter the world of jobs, or a young professional trying to find your true calling yet, I would urge you to consider investing this Rs.150/-; you won’t regret spending it on learning the decision-making approach the author shares with you.

PS: Do let me know your thoughts once you’ve read the book!


Image-credit: pagalguy.com

If you liked this post, you may also like reading these earlier blogs:

MBA की ‘मास्टरी’…

MBA at 16! A must read…

Capability and Career-Growth Go Hand-In-Hand

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RRGwritesSharing something that a young HR professional recently said. Thought-provoking words that have stayed with me…

This one’s a bright and promising junior of mine from college, with whom I was exchanging a few emails a while ago. He works for a large Indian IT multinational and had been associated with the company for over seven years now; he joined them right after MBA school. He performed well and consequently, has climbed up the ladder at a speedy and consistent pace.

During the conversation, I remarked on his consistent growth within the organization and as his proud senior, expressed my admiration. He responded in measured words. Words of wisdom, I would say; something that young managers don’t speak too often, at least whilst referring to the pivotal cross-linkage that depth of learning has with career-growth.

I am quoting him:

“…My career priority is to build depth. Growth has been incidental…”

Sharing this with all budding professionals; these are words their worth in gold.

As someone who interacts with young professionals and management students extensively, I often observe a disturbing mismatch between the aspirations of management professionals vis-a-vis their quest & hunger for knowledge – the real mastery… In fact, I wrote a blog on this a while ago – (MBA की ‘मास्टरी’)

Let me know what you think. If you are a young professional entering the corporate world or a management student; I would love to know your thoughts…


Image-credit: venuscablejoints.com

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