Despite nearly two-thirds of employers indicating that managing critical talent is vital for success, only a handful of employers feel their programs are communicating these values to high performing staff.

In a new survey of more than 120 employers across industries in the U.S. and Canada, Mercer finds that only 30% feel their programs are “extremely effective” in hitting these goals.

“Companies are not capitalizing on all the approaches and resources available, such as monitoring talent through workforce analytics,” says Loree Griffith, a principal in Mercer’s talent practice. “While companies spend a good deal of time and money identifying and rewarding top employees, they put much less effort into formally tracking and communicating the development of talent – areas that can surely make talent strategies more effective.”

Findings from Mercer’s Critical Talent Practices Survey highlight that roughly 49% of organizations have told critical talent of their worth in the company hierarchy, but only 34% currently track this employee group with HR analytical systems.

Approximately three-quarters of the organizations surveyed identify that 2-5% of the workforce is categorized as critical. Mercer explains HR managers and leadership should incorporate additional transparency and communication measures in order to hold onto critical talent.  The survey’s findings translate this, as approximately 59% of organizations want to make a difference in their job function.

Additionally, tracking career progression, health living and wellness and recognition were heralded as top non-cash rewards for employees. Furthermore, more than half of organizations surveyed feel that they need to invest in their company’s brand in order to attract and retain employees.

“Given companies’ focus on employment branding and the prevalence of non-cash rewards, better communication with critical talent along with greater transparency regarding critical talent status are two worthy considerations to further differentiate the employee experience,” says Griffith.

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