In our continued efforts to bring the most value to managers, operators, and business owners in Houston, I’m partnering with one of my long time friends and consultants to cover a topic that may seem counterintuitive for an agency that specializes in finding new team members. But our mission at Dagen is to provide the tactics and details around how you, and your organization can not only attract top tier talent, but ultimately retain them and build outstanding teams.

Mike Lejeune has a passion for developing tomorrow’s leaders. Mike delivers keynote addresses, workshops, courses and retreats designed to enhance leadership effectiveness, emotional intelligence, culture shaping and communications.

With over 25 years as a leader in the executive search industry, Mike served as President of Steverson & Company, one of the top search firms in Texas specializing in accounting finance, corporate administration, and information technology serving Fortune 500 corporations, Big 4 accounting firms, and rapidly emerging privately held companies. Here is his take on how to retain top tier client:

Trying to retain key talent? Here are 5 quick check points to consider:

  1. Strengthen communication – one of the greatest causes of turnover is the disconnect between employee and the job. Notice I did not say the manager or boss. Today’s workforce wants to understand 2 things: what is expected of me in this role and why does it matter. The more time we invest in helping people see their roles from the eyes of management, the customer or both the greater chance there is in meeting expectations or better yet, surpassing them.
  2. Assign special projects – special projects right now generate energy in the office and break the norm. By getting our focus on to improving work flow, generating special studies and reports there is an increased sense of contribution to the group and a strong sense of importance.
  3. Performance evaluations – don’t wait for the annual review to meet with the team and discuss how they are performing. The uncertainty you might be trying to handle is an emotion all of your employees are also wrestling with. They watch television, surf the net and are filled with the same anxiety we are. There is a great possibility that if they are not part of the management team it affects them even more so. Doubt and worry get magnified by any obstacle or shortfall the company might experience, becoming inflamed by constant droning of the perilous times being reported. Short term performance evaluations offers time for affirmation and redirection which could actually increase performance levels.
  4. Compensation expectations – don’t steer away from discussions on compensation adjustments. If increases can be awarded, let them know. If not, spell out the situation, you are managing their role in the success and what you hope to do in the future. Promise to readdress the issue in a prescribed period of time. The state of unknown, causes more harm than the uncertainty of speculation.
  5. Connect personally – The more someone knows about us, the more we feel connected to them, not the reverse. In the heat of battle we sometimes don’t slow down to get to know our team as well as we would like. If we want to retain our top talent, it is critical for us to invest time in finding out more about them personally as well as the professional goals they have. A few minutes each week becomes glue and sends a signal that you care.

Connectivity is not a place we strive for as managers; it is an action word requiring proactive steps and forethought. Now is the time to anchor our teams to be the base from which we will build. Don’t let your guard down and be caught blind-sided by losing someone important in who you have invested time and financial resources.

For more leadership training resources or to work with Mike Lejeune, just visit his website: