Fly’s Friday Five: Talent Management and Retention

Written by: Gary Fly
Flys Friday Five


Friends, it’s Gary Fly with The Brooks Group. I’m going to revisit some topics from the past, I’ve had a number of conversations recently that have continued to highlight what challenges people seem to be feeling in the marketplace.   

One is around prospecting. The second is around talent. I will lump these together and talk about the basics of selling, the basics of leadership, and the basics of running a business. This week, I had a conversation with Courtney Collins and Sherry Stephenson of The Business Journal, and they were talking about prospecting, and how that has become different in their world.   

Their issues really spoke to the items that we have talked about in last week’s video. If you have some questions around prospecting, happy to refer you back to the last week’s video here 

Also, here is a free resource that I hope you find to be a useful tool. It’s a tool that we use in our training programs, and I think it could add value to your sales initiatives.  

The other topic that keeps coming up is talent. We hear right now about difficulty in hiring good people. We talk about turnover; we hear about turnover. Retention is an issue, and so talent management really seems to be bubbling up in the sales world as an important issue, as well as just the general business world, I think.  

I believe there are five things you can do to really impact your talent management strategy, or to improve what results you’re getting on the talent side.  

  • First is when you hire people, I think it’s critical to identify what a successful candidate really looks like – what skills, attributes, behaviors, and motivators do they have, what sort of relevant work experience, decision making skills, all those sorts of things. You need to understand really, what success looks like in the position. You need to identify the people that have those attributes. We use an assessment tool called the Brooks Talent Index to do that. We also use a benchmarking process to really identify the needs inside of a job, and what the critical attributes are. I believe that sort of rigor is the sort of rigor you ought to be applying in your own businesses to whatever position you’re hiring.  
  • Second, we talked about basics. I believe that onboarding and training are critical elements in the success of your team. I’m amazed at some company’s lack of attention to onboarding. I think about an employee’s first day of work, they come in, they’re excited, probably a little bit nervous, they’ve obviously made a commitment to the enterprise. I think the enterprise needs to be cognizant of that and reward it right, we need to welcome people, and we need to have a clearly articulated onboarding schedule and agenda with learning objectives that map back to their job, and help them be successful.   
  • Third, is you need to provide regular coaching. We’ve talked about that time and time again, in fact, Michelle Richardson and Russ Sharer in their book, Agile and Resilient: Sales Leadership for the New Normal – talk about this in chapters nine and ten. It’s absolutely critical to provide regular coaching that’s predictable and that maps back to a set of KPIs or expectations inside the job that the person is well aware of.  
  • Fourth is communication. You need to communicate regularly to your entire team, to the individuals, and be proactive in it, think about what’s going on inside the enterprise and share that, think about what you’re trying to convey to the marketplace and convey that to your team. It’s critical to be proactive and open in your communication to your team.  
  • The fifth thing is a little bit different, I think it’s important that you treat your coworkers like adults. We’re all professionals. We’re all out trying to earn a living, we’re all trying to do the best we can do. It’s not a parent-child relationship inside of an enterprise. It’s truly a peer-to-peer, professional-to-professional, adult-to-adult relationship. You need to embrace that and all that you do as a leader inside of an organization.  

I hope these things make sense. I hope they add value to what you’re trying to do. I’d be happy to discuss or debate these with you to provide more information if that would be helpful. Always feel free to reach out to me at 

Written By

Gary Fly

Written By

Gary Fly

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