StrategyDriven Talent Management Article: How Operational Excellence Attracts and Retains Talents

How Operational Excellence Attracts and Retains Talents

Operational Excellence is a systematic approach to improving business processes and performance. It can also significantly impact a company’s ability to attract and retain talented employees.

The Significance of Talent in Modern Business

High performers are crucial to any organization’s success. A study encompassing over 600,000 individuals across various professions revealed that top performers are up to 800% more productive in complex jobs like software development and management. However, many companies struggle with attracting and retaining such talent. A McKinsey survey found that 82% of companies don’t believe they recruit highly talented people, and only 7% think they can retain top talent once hired.

Employee Engagement and Retention

Employee engagement is a critical factor in retention. Gallup reported that over 50% of employees surveyed in 2015 were not engaged, and 17.2% were actively disengaged. Additionally, 73% were contemplating other job opportunities. The scarcer top talent becomes, the more vulnerable companies are to losing their best people to competitors, especially as younger generations exhibit less loyalty to employers.

Operational Excellence in Retaining Current EmployeesStrategyDriven Talent Management Article: How Operational Excellence Attracts and Retains Talents


Operational Excellence contributes to retraining employees through four main drivers:

  1. Enhanced Job Satisfaction:
    • Streamlined Processes: Operational excellence often results in streamlined, efficient processes. This can significantly enhance job satisfaction by reducing frustrations associated with inefficient workflows, leading to a more engaged workforce.
    • Employee Empowerment: A core aspect of operational excellence is empowering employees to contribute to continuous improvement. This empowerment can lead to a greater sense of ownership and loyalty among employees.
  2. Professional Growth and Development:
    • Continuous Learning: Organizations that excel operationally often prioritize continuous learning and development. This commitment to employee growth can be a strong retention tool, as employees value the opportunity to enhance their skills and advance their careers within the organization.
    • Innovation Opportunities: Operational excellence involves embracing innovation. Employees often find motivation in working for companies that are at the forefront of their industry, offering opportunities to work on innovative projects and solutions.
  3. Workplace Culture: Operational excellence contributes to a positive work environment, where efficiency, respect, and collaboration are valued. A positive culture is a key factor in employee retention, as it fosters a sense of belonging and satisfaction.
  4. Employee Recognition and Reward Systems: Effective operational systems often include performance-based rewards and recognition programs, which can increase employee motivation and loyalty.

Operational Excellence as a Talent MagnetStrategyDriven Talent Management Article | How Operational Excellence Attracts and Retains Talents


As operational excellence is mainly internal to the company, the challenge is to make it visible to the talent the company wishes to attract. This is how it can do it.

External Perception and Attraction of Candidates

  • Brand Image: Companies known for operational excellence often have a strong brand image. This image, reflecting high standards in efficiency, quality, and innovation, is appealing to potential candidates who seek to work in well-structured and successful organizations.
  • Market Reputation: Operational excellence contributes to a positive market reputation. Prospective employees are attracted to companies that are leaders in their field, as it suggests stability, growth potential, and a commitment to best practices.
  • Visibility Through Success Stories: Success stories and case studies showcasing a company’s achievements due to operational excellence can attract talent. Such stories often highlight innovative practices, significant improvements in processes, or achievements in quality and efficiency, which can be very attractive to skilled candidates.

Recruitment Messaging

Companies can leverage their operational excellence in their recruitment messaging, emphasizing the organization’s commitment to continuous improvement, employee engagement in decision-making processes, and the use of cutting-edge tools and methodologies.


Operational excellence is more than a business strategy; it’s a talent strategy. Companies that embed continuous improvement and learning into their culture not only excel operationally but also become magnets for top talent. By focusing on creating an environment where employees can grow and develop, these organizations can attract, retain, and develop the high-quality talent necessary for long-term success. The key lies in understanding the dynamic relationship between operational systems, employee engagement, and talent development. This holistic approach can transform a company into a desirable destination for the world’s best talent, thereby driving both operational and human capital excellence.

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