Attracting top performers to your organisation is the key factor for future success according to many of the top CEO’s and one of the biggest challenges they are facing today.
Understanding how top performers think is critical and to get this right organisations must figure out what motivates and inspires them and then how to create an environment where these things exist.
Some of the common attributes that top performers look for in an employer are:
Real value alignment
Top performers want to believe that the organisation they are working for are strongly aligned to their own personal values. These ‘key’ corporate values must be clearly communicated and could include things like customer ethos, creativity and innovation, involvement in the community, teamwork, opportunity and personality.
Quite simply “If you want me to work for you I must believe in you”
In the eyes of the top performer, the organisations they consider working for must have a strong, attractive brand and a great reputation in the marketplace. This by default will enhance their own personal reputation and help them to progress with their career. When the question is asked “where do you work?” you want to be able to answer proudly and even create a little job envy ..”Oh, you are lucky to work there“.
Special personal opportunities
Top performers want to know what sets the organisation apart and what does that mean for them: Special experiences, unique opportunities, enjoyment, satisfaction, achievement and rewards, career progression and a great work life balance are things that important for these individuals.
The opportunity to develop both personally and professionally is crucial for the job satisfaction of high achievers. They want to invest their talent and precious career time in an organisation that can help develop them and progress their career positively.
If these attributes genuinely exist in the organisation (easier said than done!) then the challenge is to communicate these to Top Performers in a way that attracts their attention.
Some of these attributes are easy to convey such as organisation success, great products and services but other ‘softer‘ attributes are difficult to convey in a believable way to prospective talent but it can be done.
The organisation website will be the first port of call for anyone considering working with the organisation. Organisation websites are normally built with customers in mind but you will find that the more progressive ones will go to great efforts to demonstrate the opportunities that exist for staff and will try to provide evidence that their place is a genuinely great place to work.
While describing employee programmes and opportunities is a must on the website, the ‘evidence’ will come from the staff themselves and with clever corporate videos, team blogs, demonstrations of team activities and team testimonials the opportunities can be communicated in a believable way.
For an ‘active‘ job seeker the website will be useful, but to attract someone more ‘passive‘ who may not be considering a career change you must work much harder to get their attention.
Social media in particular, free from the formality of the organisation’s normal communications is a powerful platform for communicating the softer aspects of the organisation. These channels are the perfect way to demonstrate the personality of the organisation, the positive work life balance activities, the team spirit and publicising some of the community work and other things that showcase the ethos and values that exist.
For example happy pictures of team activities can speak volumes for any organisation.
For deeper messages well written blog posts, which allow more informal and softer communications can be distributed cleverly on the social media platforms to really demonstrate the special personality of the organisation.
If the right attributes exist for the organisation then it is vital that these are communicated to the widest possible audience through the media using PR.
Your brand is ‘what other people say about you‘ so it is really important that you carefully plan and shape how your organisation is perceived. Not only should the organisation’s progress and success be communicated but every opportunity should be taken to publicise community work and other non-commercial activities that really show how special the place is.
One of the clever ways to do this for our clients is through profile pieces in the media with individuals who work there. These are a powerful way to capture stories and communicate the real personality of the organisation.
Awards are another clever way for an organisation to showcase other aspects of their personality and ethos. For example many organisations in Ireland are competing for the Chambers Ireland CSR and ‘Great Place to Work‘ awards. Companies as diverse as Diageo, Microsoft, EMC and McDonalds are all participating in these awards, which demonstrates in a tangible way that it is not all about profit within their businesses.
In 2013 Fuzion proudly won a Chambers Ireland CSR award for our international Safebook anti-cyberbullying campaign, which we hope speaks volumes about the type of business that we operate. We care!
The top performer is not a work horse and they care deeply about their careers and about things that really matter to them.
Jim Collins in his iconic book ‘Good to Great‘ says one of the key factors of successful organisations is great people.
It’s up to you to attract them!
Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion
Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork