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by Razor Suleman | January 02, 2013
Did you know that more than 70 percent of employees don't feel valued by their employers?

Today's volatile economy and war for talent has companies scrambling to recruit faster than the competition. What's worse is that although leaders claim to focus on hiring top talent, they're unable to keep them for the long term. Hiring someone for the short term is like plugging a leaky faucet with chewing gum; eventually, it will burst and the repercussions will cost more than fixing it the right way the first time. 

In a recent Forbes article, "10 Reasons Your Top Talent Will Leave You," contributor Mike Myatt points out that few things in business are as costly and disruptive as unexpected talent departures. As many companies continue to struggle to keep their top talent, they must face the facts and change their approaches before it's too late. 

According to Myatt, more than 30 percent of employees believe they'll be working someplace else within 12 months. What's more, more than 60 percent of them don't feel that their career goals are aligned with the plans that their employers have for them. And, shockingly, more than 40 percent don't respect the person to whom they report. 

It's critical now, more than ever, to focus on ways to keep your top talent for the long term. Employees should feel valued and that their contributions are aligned with the big picture. If you deny your employees their desire to feel a sense of achievement, they will jump ship faster than you can schedule their annual performance review.
That being said, here are the Top 5 Ways to Keep Your Top Talent for 2013 and beyond:

1. Develop Their Skills
Employees today are looking for career growth and development. This doesn't mean they want to climb the hierarchy ladder, but they do crave room for growth, development, and continued maturation. 

2. Give Them a Voice
You hired the best of the best, right? Well, top talent wants to share their thoughts, insights, and observations, so make sure you solicit feedback and listen. Remember, business success is a team sport and you can't win without your employees' contributions and support.

3. Give Them Talented Leaders
Remember, 40 percent of employees surveyed don't respect the person to whom they report. Without trusted leadership, your company cannot work together and drive results that attribute to the bottom line. Alignment between leaders and employees is a deal breaker that should not go ignored. 

4. Increase Their Responsibility
Always inspire your top talent to shoot for the stars and seek excellence. Talented employees have a desire to achieve and will gladly take on more responsibility, knowing that you've empowered them and trust them to be successful.

5. Recognize Their Contributions
If you fail to recognize your employees, they will leave. Recognition amplifies the right behaviors that drive results, which gives your employees a constant pulse on their progress and fulfills their inherent need for a sense of belonging. 

Focus on these tips when creating your talent acquisition strategy for 2013 and make sure it's scalable. It's important to spend less time on plugging the leaks in your company's draining talent pool, and spend more time to hire top talent for the long term and inspire employees to do their best work.  

Razor Suleman is the chief evangelist and founder of Achievers (Formerly I Love Rewards). Achievers' global rewards and social recognition software engages employees and drives performance. For more information, visit www.achievers.com