Part of a series on team formation and productivity:  1 Recruitment, 2 Employee Engagement, 3 Performance Management, 5 Conflict Management


The secret to retention of key staff has recently been uncovered. It has little to do with remuneration, career planning or having the perfect boss. It has everything to do with structures deep in the mind that are so fundamental to us they are like our own tectonic plates.


Career Choices

Let me start with a statistic. The Deloitte Shift Index reveals that 80% of us hate our jobs. Other research delivers similar findings. This terrible situation occurred because when we were in our earlier 20s we made career choices based on the most untrustworthy of indicators. Maybe we followed the path of the subjects we liked at school, narrowing these over the years and finally majoring on one of them at college. That led us into a profession. Or maybe we just applied for a host of jobs and took the first one that was offered. Or maybe we looked for a career that would sound good when telling our family and friends about it. Whatever the reason, it led us down a dismal path.

The reason we never chased the perfect career, the career that we were made for, was because we didn’t have the map of ourselves. We were lost and didn’t know it.

It’s hardly surprising.


Talent is Deep. Skills are shallow

The world’s tectonic plates have been there for eons but were only discovered in the last 50 years. Everything that grows and flows on the Earth’s surface rests on those plates. They were always there, even when we didn’t know about them.

Likewise, our own minds contain their own version of tectonic plates. If we ignore them or trivialise them we will most certainly remain among the Deloitte 80%. But our tectonic plates are not physical. Nor are they easy to find when we go introspective. Yet they are the operating software running our brain’s hardware. They drive us. What are they? They are our natural strengths and talents and they are central to our job satisfaction and effectiveness at work.

Our natural strengths and talents underpin our sense of purpose. Every one of us wants to do a certain kind of work. Mostly we look for work that tallies with our learned skills and qualifications. But if natural strengths and talents are our mind’s tectonic plates, learned skills and qualifications can be likened to buildings that are constructed on the Earth’s surface. They are temporary and will eventually fall or be torn down. They are superficial.

Our natural strengths and talents are harder to discover. But they are our foundations.


Talent Management: Teaming Science is the Gateway

Within the last decade or so, research conducted in businesses in the US has peeled back the covers of natural strengths and talents and revealed them in all their elegant, yet rock-hard, sophistication. The research has been tested and verified repeatedly and is now a science. Teaming science. Teaming science is the next great frontier of business improvement. We have had an explosion of progress on the technology dimensions and process dimensions over the last 30 years. Just think of what could have been had the people dimension (our talent), been running at 90% efficiency instead of 40% efficiency.

Once the profile of our individual natural strengths and talents is known and placed onto the talent map where the rest of the world also sits, we can instantly see why our learned skills have misled us. It’s not that we were wrong to become a teacher, an engineer or a scientist. It’s that when we did so, we didn’t use our qualifications and skills in a way that aligned with our talent. And that made all the difference.


The Key to Retention: Talent and Skill Alignment

Organizations that are serious about staff retention must get to grips with teaming science. Staff whose learned skills are not being put to work in a manner that aligns with their natural talent will continue to job hop. You may be just their latest victim. They didn’t intend to leave your firm after only two years. They can’t help it. It’s the way they’re made. And until you and they find out what their natural strengths and talents are, you won’t be able to please them and you’ll face a continual and expensive resignation and re-hiring process.

Method Teaming is a teaming science. It’s a series of programs that can be taught to business leaders to help them hire exactly the right person for the right role. With Method Teaming, success is predictable.  And when you build your work teams with Method Teaming you’ll find that staff report higher employee engagement ratings than ever before. Their job satisfaction will reach a career high and stay there. And that’s when you know you’ve solved the retention problem. Your highly talented, experienced people won’t leave you for a better job. They’re already doing the job they already wanted. They’ve got the best job on the planet. With you.

No modern geologist ignores the importance of tectonic plates.

No modern business must ignore the importance of teaming science and its effect on retention.

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