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Invest in your best
How to retain your top talent
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Herb Greenberg
Herb Greenberg

In a challenging economy, providing strong leadership and retaining your top talent is both a strategic and economic necessity. In a time of crisis, when people everywhere are faced with uncertainty, they look to their leaders to provide focus, direction and—most importantly—motivation. With a strong leader who can inspire confidence, your company can weather the storm and come out ahead when the economy turns around. However, without that leadership, your leaders may create more problems than they can solve.

In a tough economy it becomes necessary to analyze your company's assets so that you can maintain your edge. As you look at the products and services you offer to your clients, it's crucial to understand that everything about your business can be replicated by your competitors—everything, that is, except your people. That's the one thing that can set you apart. And now is the time to invest in your people and give them the leadership and direction they need to stay focused and energized.

Leadership matters more than ever right now. This is not the time to cut back on developing your leaders and your potential leaders, because if any one thing matters, it's staying competitive. And in order to stay competitive, you need to retain your high-potential employees—they are your differentiators when this economy starts to turn around.

Oftentimes those in leadership tend to do the opposite of what is effective during a crisis. They can be more directive, more micromanaging and more forceful instead of using their visionary skills and ability to coach, mentor and inspire people. At this point in time, it is crucial to think more strategically about the future and who you need to drive that future.

Businesses that survive challenging times will be those that identify and develop the leaders of tomorrow. Employee development programs are essential to ensuring that your organization has the leadership bench strength required to guide your company into the future.

Brandon Raasch, Director of Human Resources for retailer West Marine Products describes it this way, "This is the right time for us to invest in our leadership team and prepare for the future. That way, our customers, shareholders and associates are all healthy when the economy turns around, as we fully expect it will."

Brandon continues, "One of the exciting things that I see in our senior management is that when things are difficult, rather than getting frustrated and blaming others, they will ask ‘What can I do different? What can I change in order to take this challenge and turn it into an opportunity'"

Caliper's Leadership & Employee Development can help you identify and develop talented leaders within your own company to drive your competitive strategy, support your values, and successfully secure the future of your organization. The process involves a clear understanding of your organization's current and future business strategy. Knowing your competitive position in the marketplace along with your growth goals allows for better definition of future leadership needs. You cannot begin to prepare your future executives if you do not know what they will be called upon to do—and what competencies they will need to succeed.

While it may be hard to think of spending precious budget dollars on leadership and employee development when you have so many other matters begging for your attention, there is truly nothing more important. Organizations need their leaders to be prepared for the upturn which will inevitably come. To be ready, it is important to start today to align your leaders and their teams and position them for success.

About Caliper - For nearly half a century, Caliper has been helping companies achieve peak performance by advising them on hiring the right people, managing individuals most effectively and developing productive teams. The accuracy, objectivity and depth of our consulting approach enable us to provide solutions that work for over 25,000 companies. To find out more about how Caliper can help you identify and develop people who can lead your organization to peak performance, please visit us at  or call us at 609-524-1200. Email to contact Herb or Patrick.