You Can’t Let Your Organization Stalwarts Run Away: Lessons from 2020

4 min readJun 2, 2021


Engaged employees are assets to a stumbling or growing business. They are the happy faces, and comparatively satisfied individuals, who determine the growth story of your organization.

But, is that all? Can a happy employee bear the heat for your company? Let me explain.

The recent pandemic entered our lives like a storm, eroding some treasured memories from our lives, but constantly leaving behind a few thought-provoking, positive changes.

Owing to the crisis, several employers distinctly filtered the wheat from the chaff by identifying the top performers and volunteers- who readily shared the burden for the company.

High performance was just a small contribution, what outstood these employees from the rest of the crowd, was the unbiased sensitivity towards subordinates as well as top management. Even though companies are functioning remotely, these employees proactively held the fort and outperformed productivity expectations. Doesn’t that sound better than a happy employee?

These high-potential individuals are called critical or key resources.

If Pareto’s principle is to be believed, then 80% of the difficult and critical jobs are shouldered by 20% of the employees. The strategy of retention and engagement of that 20% of the critical employees is a game-changing idea but differs from the traditional People Strategy.

Considering the importance of nurturing Key resources in the organization, let’s deep dive into identifying the stalwarts.

Sieve Out The Key Resources In The Organization

Unarguably, your crisis leaders come in all emotional & mental shapes and sizes.

That trustworthy employee could be a combination of competence, skill, and a promising future leader. Or, a worker bee- extremely industrious and passionate about work- acing every project and customer problem.

As the discussion unfolds, you must have visualized a few familiar faces in your organization as well. Isn’t? To make your hunt easier, here are a few straightforward traits that are commonly observed in the cohort of key resources.

  1. High appetite for risk and challenges- Do not shy away from complexity, and demanding tasks. Ready to hustle and bring reforms like a true leader.
  2. Anti-fragile elements- Certain power-packed individuals show tremendous resilience, adaptability, and openness to change. Remote or no remote, onsite or offsite, their energy and enthusiasm do not change under any circumstance, not even under unusual pressure.
  3. Outcome-oriented personalities- Revenue or business result-generating individual is the cream of the organization. No organization can dare to work without their support.
  4. Empathize with others- Workplace ethics and culture are constructed on empathy- a joint effort involving employees(mostly critical resources) and the HR, volunteer to create a sustainable and productive workplace.
  5. Fruit-bearing trees- Key individuals often come with baggage- a large professional network, employee culture & engagement experience, rich knowledge in subject matter, and influencers, attracting new resources.
  6. Lead by example- A rare quality, but a few indulge in taking initiatives proactively, especially in the wake of a crisis such as the pandemic. When it comes to routine tasks, they exert along with their subordinates or seniors, bringing accountability and ownership as a complementary service. The company needs more influencers like them to motivate other employees.
  7. Data-driven leaders- Decision-making with a holistic view is not everyone’s cup of team. Informed decisions leveraging employee and customer data is a wise yet another rare quality to find.

High acumen and hard-working individuals, understandably, comprise a small chunk of the corporate world. So, it’s not difficult to guess, such top-notch employees are an important catch for many recruiters, and are hard to retain….unless you have something exceptional to offer.

However, you can’t offer, until you notice the reason that provokes the individual to leave.

And after observing, HR leaders must speak about the elephant in the room, openly!

Tell-tale Signs Indicating Your Emerging Stars Will Take Flight In No Time!

Without beating around the bush, let’s get straight to the point. A genuine, reliable resource doesn’t linger around if the company does not manage to notice his/her efforts. And, when their efforts go unnoticed, here is what happens-

  • Feeling unrecognized, undervalued, and unappreciated( Most alarming)
  • Experience monotony and lack energy
  • A dire need for change( work environment or job role)
  • Realization of unacceptable workplace culture
  • Misalignment of skillset, role, and pay scale
  • Feeling disengaged and unwanted
  • Growing concerns about trust and conflicts

Take care of your employees, and your employees will take care of your business. It’s as simple as that. — Richard Branson / Founder, Virgin Group

Like it or not, organizations can’t build a solid empire without high-performing engaged employees- the potential future leaders.

Avoid laying off high-performing/potential individuals during a crisis such as the ongoing pandemic. You will fall short of valuable assets when things go back to normalcy.

Achieving the distinguishing name of people-friendly organizations doesn’t come easy. Efforts like identifying and engaging critical employees change your reputation in the talent management landscape, and surprisingly, invite customer appreciation on organizations’ employee engagement strategies.

“ Customers will never love your company until the employees love it first.- Simon Sinek, Author & Speaker




I’m a marketer with over 4 years of content writing experience. Currently, I’m on a mission to create content that helps sellers overcome obstacles.