Skilled workforce required for business growth: neuroscience sheds light on what it takes to keep top talent

March 16, 2014 1:42 pm

Highly skilled workers and leaders are essential to the growth strategies projected for 2014.  Businesses need to attract and retain top talent to realise the growth opportunities.  However, technology and flexible working mean top employees are less constrained than ever and without incentive will be happy to move on sooner rather than later.   But for BrainWise leaders who are effective in this more agile environment the rewards of building high-powered engaged teams of capable people are there to be had.

Talented people are looking for interesting and meaningful work that they can deliver in a flexible environment.  They also expect to be developed and provided with opportunities.  This is not particularly new or surprising but it is becoming more of a leadership imperative rather than a ‘nice to have’.

Operating in an environment characterised not only by rapid change but a shortage of talent requires a different approach to leadership. Leaders can use insights from science to fine tune relationships and strategies.

To get sustainable results leaders will need to help people become absorbed in work that is consistent with their own values.  These leaders will have a high level of personal self-awareness and a strong ability to connect and create connections between others.  They will learn to virtually coach and develop individuals and teams within the context of commercially viable projects.  Their focus will be on people and harnessing the collective expertise of talented people across different geographic, time and technical boundaries.

What does it take to encourage individuals to make their best contribution?

First, an overall focus on developing people rather than just using human resources changes the whole dynamic of a workplace.  People want to stretch and grow in their own ways.  Work with each team member to determine ways to weave individual goals for development with commercial goals for the business.   Employees appreciate an honest conversation about needs of both sides and the more understanding they have about what the business is trying to do the better position they are in to help plot a course that includes both.

Second, leave behind the traditional carrot and stick approach to performance management.  Our brains are designed to work best in safe environments.   Most employees are tying to do their best and deliver a good outcome. When this goes off the rails, punishment (blaming, critiquing, or worse) will not help.   Take the time to calmly review the task and social components of the challenge and work out a plan to resolve it.  Work together with the employee to make necessary adjustments.   We all want to make a valued contribution – being seen as a valued member of the group meets a basic human need and is associated with more confidence and greater ability to learn and perform.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on 27 January, 2014 by learningquest.

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