Creating a high-performing ecosystem

June 13, 2023

In today’s ultra-competitive business environment, winning companies focus on talent as the single biggest factor in their ongoing success.  According to the Willis Towers Watson “Reimagining Work and Rewards Survey,” the majority of companies reported a growing challenge in attracting and retaining workers. Talent challenges are common across all employee groups from digital talent to salaried employees to hourly workers.  

To stay ahead, companies need to revamp traditional talent methods with a more holistic, high-performing ecosystem that addresses each stage of the employee life cycle.


Despite some recent economic headwinds in 2022, job change activity remains at a very high level. According to a recent Mckinsey & Company study, the root cause of much of employee mobility is a personal desire to be valued and developed. McKinsey’s study identified that “people not feeling valued by the organization” and “not feeling valued by their manager” were more likely to exit a company for greener pastures.

To attract top talent, companies will be well served to walk the talk and demonstrate that their employees are “valued” and what specific steps are taken to ensure development continues as part of the ongoing employee experience.  

Marketing materials, job postings, and interview guides need to align with consistent evidence that the company values each team member. Of course, the substance shared must be authentic and real or employees will call it out in their external communications or company review ratings.  

The more clarity that can be provided into the skills and roles that an individual contributor will be expected to master within the job, the more likely candidates can assess how well it matches with their unique needs and values.


In some sense, the process of changing companies for a new role is like buying a house. As much as the listings (job post), house tour (interviews), and inspections (website, Glassdoor ratings, other research) are intended to give a thorough view of a new home, until you move in, you likely will miss a few things that range from the mildly annoying to the deeply regrettable.  

But companies can’t afford for their new contributors to feel buyer’s remorse.  As a recent hire settles into their new surroundings, it is important for leaders and peers to understand their experience and help support any needed adjustments.  

It’s critical that the onboarding process is helpful in communicating company norms, highlighting available resources, and setting clear expectations.  

Even more rewarding is when new employees have an opportunity to share their unique strengths and preferences.  This provides the company with many more opportunities to assign the right work, pair the new hire with other contributors who have complimentary skills and preferences, and craft development plans to create a runway for ongoing growth.  

Companies that onboard well with longer-term success in mind help prevent “buyer’s remorse” in their new hires.

Ongoing Performance, Development, and Environment

In addition to tracking progress toward key performance indicators and SMART goals, ongoing performance management conversations should include dialog about which roles and skills produce personal satisfaction and energy.  

Understanding when employees are both achieving at a high level and feeling an abundance of energy and satisfaction can unlock the keys to employee retention.

Business leaders can assign work that tests an employee’s capabilities while helping them unlock energy and satisfaction through their achievements. Managers can pair together team members who may gain energy and satisfaction from different parts of a project, creating a much better overall experience for all involved.  

Acknowledging and utilizing every person’s unique strengths and preferences creates an environment of growth and achievement where people feel they can continue to develop and grow in an employee centric organization.

Environmental factors can also have a strong bearing on someone’s work satisfaction. A person who might think they prefer remote work due to a desire for schedule flexibility may find that their greatest achievements occur when collaborating in person with others. Other factors, such as decision-making autonomy, may be developed over time and carry valuable lessons along the way.  

Diving more deeply into each person’s stated and demonstrated environmental preferences will help leaders build in the right contextual factors into each work group to generate the best results.

Succession planning

With the baby boomer generation nearing retirement, every company has to be concerned about execution risk given the knowledge transfer and succession planning required.  Business leaders planning for a sustainable future may start by identifying critical roles that drive their ongoing competitiveness and continuity.  

Second, these leaders need to identify which members of their organization may have the capabilities to fill those key roles what development path will help those employees gain new work experiences, or what formal training is needed to help prepare them to take on mission-critical roles.  

But most companies fail to fully understand the unique strengths of each employee – what motivates and energizes them, what their unique values and needs are, what roles they thrive in and what skills they get the most satisfaction from using.  

Without that deeper understanding of the individual, succession plans will likely generate mixed results – some will be a great fit, others may lack the strengths without manifesting yet that underlying deficiency, while others may have the desired capabilities but not the aligned motivation to take on the role the company sees in their future.  

The cost of having missteps in a succession plan are monumental. Because of the importance of the critical roles in the organization, it could cost as much as 200% of the salary to recruit, train, and upskill the next successor, should the one originally designated flame out or leave the company.  

Bringing it All Together

Successful business leaders focus on their people at every stage of the employee life cycle, creating a high-performing ecosystem that nurtures and retains top talent. tru™ Strength Realization can provide breakthrough insights on which to build a winning culture.  This technology is based in positive psychology and uses an ipsative approach to identify each employee’s unique strengths and environmental preferences by uncovering their Achievement DNA. It gives front-line managers insights that can help deliver top performance and satisfaction while reducing employee turnover.   Learn more at  

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