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Top Talent: Keeping Performance Up When Business Is Down

Book Description

During tough economic times it's more vital than ever to hold on to and leverage your top performers: They've got the outsize smarts and dedication your firm needs to survive recession and emerge stronger. Yet in 2009 many employers are failing to support and sustain their best people. Loyalty and trust are out the window. Engagement is through the floor. Flight risk is at an all time high.

In Top Talent, a volume in the Memo to the CEO series, Sylvia Ann Hewlett presents new data detailing what has happened to top talent in this brutal down cycle. She then explains how companies can re-engage and re-energize their stars.

Drawing from virtual strategy sessions conducted within fourteen corporate giants--including GE, Merrill Lynch, and Time Warner--Hewlett presents eight cutting-edge interventions that have emerged as "top picks" for managers looking to motivate top talent in tough times, including:

-Show that top leadership cares

-Create a "no-spin" zone characterized by candid, frequent communication

-Strengthen camaraderie and model stress-busting behaviors

-Provide powerful nonmonetary rewards

Concise and practical, this guide is essential for employers seeking to turbo charge their star performers.


Table of Contents

  1. MEMO TO THE CEO
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Dedication
  5. Table of Contents
  6. Acknowledgments
  7. Introduction: A Recession Is a Terrible Thing to Waste
  8. PART I - The Evidence
    1. The Top Talent Challenge
      1. The Talent Time Bomb
      2. The View from the Top of the Cycle
      3. The View from the Bottom of the Cycle
      4. One Foot Out the Door
  9. PART II - What to Do About It
    1. 1: Create a “No-Spin” Zone
      1. Calling All Managers
      2. Choose the Right Medium for Your Message
      3. The Power of One-on-One
      4. Listen Up!
    2. 2: Think Locally and Focus on Team Leaders
      1. Love ’em or Lose ’em
      2. Take Charge of Your Talent
      3. Create Career Opportunities
      4. Encourage Active Mentoring
    3. 3: Give Employees Meaningfu Nonmonetary Rewards
      1. Don’t Forget to Say, “Thank You”
      2. Promote Existing Wellness Benefits
      3. Use Time as Currency
      4. Encourage Employees to Do Good on Company Time
    4. 4: Develop a Fair Restructuring Process
      1. Commit to Transparency
      2. Make Layoffs Easier on Managers
      3. Help Employees Help Themselves
      4. Don’t Just Cut—Create!
    5. 5: Hold On to Your Women
      1. Links to the Bottom Line
      2. Not “Men in Skirts”
      3. What Companies Can Do
      4. The Impact of the Recession
      5. Protect Your Brand
    6. 6: Show That Top Leadership Cares
      1. Increase Touch Points
      2. Encourage Affinity Networks
      3. Reaching Out a Helping Hand
      4. Ask and Ye Shall Receive
    7. 7: Re-create Pride, Purpose, and Direction
      1. Find the Good and Flaunt It
      2. Amp Up Altruism
      3. Recommit to Corporate Social Responsibility
      4. Reinvent the Business Model and Point the Way Forward
    8. 8: P.S. Don’t Forget Yourself
      1. A Vicious Cycle
      2. Maintain Your Equilibrium
      3. Give Some, Get Some
      4. Nurture Your Networks
      5. Recruit a Personal Board of Directors
      6. Restore and Reflect
  10. Conclusion: Becoming a Talent Magnet
  11. Notes
  12. About the Author