Investing Wisely: Talent Matters

Investing Wisely: Talent Matters

As many experts predicted, the increased demand for employees that prompted generous salaries along with great benefits couldn’t last forever.  Indeed, before spring had sprung in 2023, some of the largest tech giants along with other pandemic-surviving organizations had to lay off talent in surprising numbers. 

Despite the unexpected downsizing, “employers remain sensitive to how all workers experience their time on the job and throughout the entire talent life cycle.”  In her March 2023 Forbes article, “Even During Uncertain Times, Companies are Investing in People,” Rebecca Henderson also asserts that “whether it’s making work more meaningful, ensuring access to learning and development opportunities, or lessening the sting of a layoff, companies are committed to providing the best experience to their people.” 

Henderson’s claims are based on the Randstad Enterprise 2023 Talent Trends Report, which included the input of over 900 leaders in multiple industries. Like you, those leaders are keenly aware that “a healthier and more engaged workforce is certainly key to improving productivity and retention.” In other words, investing wisely in talent matters for multiple reasons.  Happy and satisfied employees tend to stay engaged and, perhaps not too surprisingly, excel in their respective roles and responsibilities. 

The team at LEADon® has developed time-tested approaches for investing in your organization’s team members that can also greatly impact productivity and profitability.  Here’s a summary of our “Five Step Maintenance Plan” you and your leadership team can readily implement : 

Step #1: Create a Culture of Appreciation 

Step #2: Equip your team members with the skills necessary to read and relate to others 

Step #3: Pass on the process of transformational leadership 

Step #4: Cascade coaching and mentoring skills throughout your organization 

Step #5: Develop leaders who can build and maintain High Performance Teams (HPTs) 

While you can discover more details about our Five Step Maintenance Plan in Chapter 7 of The Leading Edge: 9 Strategies for Improving Internal and Intentional Leadership (Wilke & Wilke, 2019), take a few minutes to review the following suggestions to see how they might be beneficial to those in your various spheres of influence: 

Step #1: Leaders are responsible for creating a culture where everyone on the team feels encouraged and appreciated.  This requires making an effort to share personal thanks, write appreciative notes, offer public praise, and hold morale-building meetings. Notice these suggestions have little impact your bottom line, although gift cards, bonuses, and even promotions should be part of your overall system for rewarding talent who meet and exceed expectations (you can access our blog “Culture of Caring” by clicking here, or watch our online course, LEADing with a Culture of Appreciation® at 

Step #2: Reading and relating to others are abilities that directly involve the science of Emotional Quotient (EQ).  Improving these kind of social skills—which include communicating, collaborating, and empathizing with those around us—will enhance team members’ personal and professional interactions. LEADon has spent several decades developing an online metric that, when paired with corresponding online courses, will allow you and your team to identify and improve EQ characteristics that impact overall success and satisfaction (we also have more strategies in our course, LEADing by Reading, Relating, and Feeding Your Corporate Family®). 

Step #3: In her Forbes’ post, Henderson reinforced what the team at LEADon has witnessed in numerous industries:  “Workers are keenly aware of becoming obsolete due to technological advances. They urgently want to stay relevant through reskilling and upskilling initiatives provided by employers. Companies are obliging with more investments in learning and development, Randstad Enterprise’s research shows.”  This means that you and your leadership team should be providing regular opportunities for your employees to improve skills that will benefit them, and ultimately, your organization (please see our March 2023 blog, Luck and Leadership” for six specific strategies for addressing talent needs). 

Step #4: Intentional efforts to coach and mentor the talent in your organization will never go unrewarded.  Why? Because “when team members feel supported, they thrive. When individuals know they are not alone, they’re energized” (p. 148 of The Leading Edge). At LEADon, we encourage mentoring for all talent, beginning in the C-suite so you and fellow leaders can role model how to coach and be coached by a qualified mentor. (You can discover more details about mentoring in our online course, LEADing by Coaching and Mentoring®). 

Step #5: The team at LEADon maintains that leadership is influence—so those who are leaders or up-and-coming leaders need to be intentionally developed to run your High Performance Teams. Such leadership equipping can be offered during meetings, through coaching and mentoring, and via online modalities that maximize talent time and corporate budgets. We recommend reviewing Chapter 3 of The Leading Edge entitled “Six Benchmarks for Internal and Intentional Leadership” which offers strategies for everyone striving to become exceptional leaders in your Corporate Family.  

We’d like you to take another minute to review the Five Step Maintenance Plan and apply it to your personal life as well.  Remember, exceptional leadership is personal first, then professional.  See if you can implement some of these strategies wherever you are leading today, for by doing so you’ll be making wise investments that truly matter. If the LEADon team can support you in these endeavors, please connect with us at 858.592.0700 or