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5 Ways to Attract and Retain Top Talent

5 Ways to Attract and Retain Top Talent

As a startup CEO, attracting and retaining top talent can be one of the biggest struggles that you face. If your business is brand new, you may wonder what you can offer in order to get and keep the very best talent in your field. Here are a few ways to set yourself apart from other companies in the market for those great employees.

Expect to recruit the best employees

Once you’re the best and the brightest, you can expect great employees to come to you. When you’re still brand new, you will need to reach out to the places your ideal employee hangs out, and you will need to sell them on your company. For example, if you know you want to find a content writer or marketer who believes in Seth Godin’s approaches to marketing and thought leadership, you would want to frequent both Godin’s blog directly, and then blogs and communities that discuss his writings. You would talk about your company, your culture, and then start to talk to content writers who engage with you. This way, you know that you’re approaching people who are already on the same page with you in terms of approach.

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When you’re recruiting on the Internet, though, remember that if you’re looking for someone to fill an in the office position, you may be looking at paying moving expenses. Offering that up front is a big deal to many potential employees.

Offer great parental leave policies

Maternal and paternal leave is an active talking point in the modern economic sphere. As more and more research is done on how women are more likely to return to their jobs after longer, more generous parental leave times, and men perform better when they have time to spend with their families and bond with their new babies, it is becoming more and more obvious that companies who want to attract and keep the best people need to offer great parental leave. Studies show that paid maternity leave also helps business growth.

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And remember that parental leave at the very best companies is offered to families who are created through all methods, from birth to adoption to assuming custody of relatives or children.

Engage and empower employees

The very best employees are the ones who challenge your company to do better and motivation plays a significant role. They bring in fresh ideas and new concepts, and aren’t satisfied with the status quo. Their ability to look at problems and come up with brand new solutions are a big part of why you’re trying to recruit them, instead of opting for the person who is just going to come to work and check things off their list until it’s time to go home.

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But the challenge of hiring the best and brightest is that you need to give them room to experiment, to try out different options for success, and even to fail. If you hiring an idea person because you need to revolutionize their department, but you then chain them down with endless reporting, busy work, and a refusal to try something new, you’re not going to be able to keep them. If you need someone who’s all about checking off the to do list – and sometimes, that really is the person you need, and that’s okay – than hire that person, and be clear about your needs.

Broadcast your culture as an employee benefit

For many of the youngest workers, employee culture is a huge part of how they choose where they work. Every employee has individual needs and wants for their workspace, and a big part of retaining employees is being honest about your employee culture up front. You may find that an otherwise awesome person doesn’t get along with the culture of your business, and there may not be much you can do about that. Some elements are flexible, while others are not. But by weeding out the people whose culture doesn’t align with yours during interviewing, you reduce the time and money that you spend on recruitment and training.

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Pay for relocation expenses

If an employee moves more than 50 miles to continue to work in the same field, their moving expenses are generally tax deductible. Make sure they know this – but also go a step above and beyond and offer to cover moving expenses for employees who are relocating to join your company, or to go to a different branch of the company.

What have you done to attract and keep top talent?

Featured photo credit: Cabinet Office via flickr.com

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Margarita Hakobyan

MBA from the University of Utah

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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