Safeguarding Employees from Poaching

Poaching talent from your rival can be, depending on who you ask, a frowned upon activity or a necessary venture. According to Wikipedia, “poaching” is the illegal hunting, killing or capturing of wild animals. Don’t worry, though—nobody’s getting hurt… the hunting and capturing part is what we’re talking about today.

Poaching in business is a double-edged sword because you could find yourself in a nondisclosure suit like Apple or perhaps bridge a partnership between Salesforce and Microsoft. The hard reality is that poaching can happen on your watch in the workplace as easily as it can in the wild.

According to LinkedIn, about 44% of its users are “explorers” or persons interested in engaging in conversations about new opportunities.  Keep in mind that LinkedIn is not the only social media platform that makes poaching very easy. The great news is that, as a manager, there are proactive things you can do to safeguard your team from going astray:

1. Engage Your Employees

We know employees perform 20% better and are 87% less likely to leave your organization when you actively engage them at work, according to the Corporate Leadership Council.

You can engage your employees by:

  • Ensuring your organization has a worthwhile purpose that makes employees want to get and then stay engaged.
  • Connecting with your team to help them understand how they make a difference for your organization.
  • Providing your team challenging tasks—always a safe bet to make their performance and experience more valuable.

2. Assess Your Management Style

Does your team respect you? How do they feel about your management style (hopefully you don’t hover over them)? Are they on board with your goals for your department and with how engaged you are with the company?

These things matter and you need to dig deep to analyze how you lead your team. A positive and nurturing management style can keep your team members’ eyes from wandering.

3. Create a Great Environment

A great environment has happy employees—they tend to be dependent on relationships mostly with coworkers in terms of team building activities and fostering a collaborative spirit. Employees also enjoy a culture of transparency with management. Social media is a great way to develop the culture that engages current employees and even attract new talent.

Your employees will get poached if you don’t create an engaging work environment. Get them on board with your leadership style, and you can cultivate them to accomplish your department’s goals, as well as fit into the company’s culture. Implement all three of these safeguard measures to keep your best talent from going astray.


Denis Coleman

Denis Coleman is the founder and CEO of Work Compass, a cloud staff performance collaboration software platform that helps teams align their efforts with strategic goals and continuously improve performance. Frustrated with the disconnect between strategy setting and day to day execution and the lack of tools available to managers to help them be great at their most important function …. Aligning their teams activities with strategic goals and actively managing for high performance Denis spent over 5 years researching strategy execution and performance management practices before founding Work Compass to create a software solution. Denis has held senior roles in Ireland, Czech Republic and North America with high performing electronics manufacturing and professional services organisations for more than 12 years. Denis has worked as Finance Director responsible for €800 million in annual revenues for Flextronics International, Key Account Manager responsible for annual revenues of more than €600 million for Dovatron International and Management Consultant for BDO one of Europe’s most successful professional services providers.

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