Retaining Top Talent - The Key Factors - Procurement People
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Retaining Top Talent - The Key Factors

I recently wrote a blog on the emerging Chinese Football Premier League based around what motivates employees most – is it primarily focused on money? Feel free to review that blog via the link at the bottom of this post. 

However, as the English Premier League season has recently come to a conclusion and with the UK transfer market due to re-open shortly; the ‘transfer gossip’ has already began to take centre stage once again with talks of a €100 million transfer of Antoine Greizmann to Manchester United leading the way! 

As you can tell I am a dedicated sports fan so apologies to those not interested in football, however, this got me to think from the other side of the fence to my previous blog – how do you retain your top talent and what are the key factors you need to take into consideration?

Winning or being recognised as the best

Winning trophies and titles in football is what every team and player is usually striving for. In the ‘normal’ world of employment, whilst not necessarily focusing on winning trophies, companies can strive to be recognised in their industry as a market leader. With that you will not only attract top talent to your organisation, but you will also ensure the ‘high flyers’ in your organisation don’t feel the need to move elsewhere. 

Progression, Learning & Development

One of the other main considerations for employees considering moving elsewhere and typically the following questions arise; will it progress their career? What else will they learn from working within a new environment with new colleagues? and how will that better develop their skill sets? Offering employees opportunity to develop and grow through training and promotion is paramount to ensure you keep hold of your best people. Whilst employees may not always be interested in developing in certain areas, knowing the option is available is critical to ensure they do not seek to move elsewhere. Compare that to football, where coaching set ups and training facilities of the highest level can offer players excellent options to further develop. If you don’t keep up with innovation you can be sure your competitors will be!


Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United – any football fan, in fact probably many non-football fans too, will tell you that these are some of the biggest clubs in the world. Millions of children dream of one day having the opportunity to play for such an inspirational club in front of thousands of fans. I speak to many young professionals in my industry daily, and most of them have very clear ambitions of where they want to get to and how they plan to get there. Working their way to the top and eventually progressing their way through the ranks of the market leader in their industry is a common goal. With an increasing focus on digital media, developing your external reputation as an inspirational environment to work has never been more important. Establish what makes your organisation so special to work within and tell the world! Inspire your employees and make them feel proud to work where they do!

Money / Reward

Lastly but certainly not least is rewarding your employees which can usually involve financial incentives, none more so in the world of football with clubs offering extravagant figures in terms of weekly salaries and reward based bonuses. Whilst paying your employees competitively and offering them attractive bonus incentives are high on the agenda here, for many, reward is not just based on financials. Recognising someone for their contribution and celebrating their achievements with colleagues throughout the organisation can do wonders for morale and self esteem, making them feel much more valued than just giving them more money. 

Ultimately, finding a combination and balance of these factors is important for you to keep hold of your best talent. Make them feel rewarded, valued and offer them an environment where they have opportunity to progress and learn and you will not go far wrong. Make your organisation a market leader and an inspiring place to work and you will make it very difficult for them to look elsewhere in a time where companies are going to increasing measures to ensure they can ‘attract’ the best talent!

Is salary your main motivator in the workplace? A look at the Chinese Super League

By Adam Roughton – Principal Consultant