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September 2012 - Posts

  • The War for Talent is Over. The War for Exceptional Talent is Raging.

    Sep 04 2012

    Employers continue to face a challenge that has existed since the beginning of business – recruiting and retaining great talent.

    What is the best way to ensure that you are offering the best for your associates? You make hiring the most integral part of your business strategy. Only the best cultures can attract those that will contribute effectively to your business and culture.

    Leadership's purpose, after setting the mission and vision for the company, can almost be distilled to:

    • Find the right people.
    • Provide them with the structure and resources they need.
    • Show trust by getting out of their way and allowing them to do what they've committed to do.
    • Hold them accountable to their own goals.

    This cultural mindset will improve employee retention by enhancing their commitment to the organization, as opposed to their merely "obeying" in order to earn money.

    Here's an example of how we show trust at The Phelps Group. We say, "We only hire adults." This means we don't have to tell people when to be at the office, what to wear or how to treat each other. It has minimized the number of written policies and is a reflection of how much we trust our associates.

    Our associate Ed Chambliss (who received the top IMC graduate student award when he received his MBA at Colorado University) said it this way in a memo to me:

    "I overheard two ladies talking about their company's travel policy. The policy (from a large Hollywood studio) was amazing. It actually dedicated six single-spaced pages to travel policy, including a chart indicating which level executive is allowed to fly First or Business Class (if the flight is over seven hours, of course.) I also caught a glimpse of an entire paragraph outlining how unused airline tickets must be returned to a participating travel agency.

    This experience crystallized for me the difference between The Phelps Group and other companies where I've worked. It's one way our organization treats us like responsible adults. In contrast, many companies treat their employees like children – forcing management to act like parents.

    We're all responsible adults who, treated as such, will work together to get things done.

    To me, this how companies need to treat today's knowledge workers. Our culture treats us as adults. And, given that opportunity, we'll use our common sense to get the problems solved. Isn't that what it's all about?" Well said, Ed.

    What is your company's strategy to bring the best people? How do you ensure you keep them engaged in their position over the years? recently published a great article regarding hiring strategy -

    Joe Phelps