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How Do I Retain My Best Talent?


Burnout. Remote work. Stress about reaching difficult targets. Disagreements. Politics. Countless factors influencing employee frustration. But what about you, the leader? You're not alone. I'm hearing from many leaders that they are increasingly concerned about keeping their best people, especially given how tight the labor market is now. Turnover is very expensive, as it can lead to lower revenues, higher costs, and customer dissatisfaction.


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Is there a framework to help retain talent?


Yes! I advise clients to start with the Herzberg Theory of Motivation:


Proven theory on how to retain talent

Research shows that both hygiene factors (compensation, flexible work schedules, workload, etc.) and motivation factors (does the employee feel personally fulfilled and challenged in the role?) are key to engagement and retention. Both need to be contemplated, but know their impact.


What actions can I take to keep my best people?

  1. Heads up: Email the above image to your team. Tell them for your next 1:1, you'd like them to come with 3 items circled for which they personally feel satisfied and 2 items where they'd like to see improvement.

  2. Listen: In your next 1:1, let them know you may not be able to change everything but you will listen to what they have to say and get back to them with thoughts.

  3. Follow-up: Thank them for their candor. As the leader, don't let this be a one-and-done conversation! Comment or message me if you have any questions or challenges.


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Chris Duffy leads Amplify Leadership Partners, a leadership consulting and coaching firm with expertise in retaining and motivating talent to achieve organizational success. He received his master's in Organizational Psychology with a specialization in Change Management from Columbia University. He's based in Connecticut and works with clients nationwide.

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