Tackling the 2023 Talent Challenge

The last few years saw a number of unprecedented challenges in both the workplace and the workforce. The global pandemic impacted nearly every business and disrupted supply chains. 

On the heels of the pandemic, companies experienced a major shift in daily operations — many have opted to remain hybrid or even fully remote.Throughout the later months of 2022 and into this new year, employees have also been shaken up by mass layoffs across many industries. 

But amid the uncertainty, companies around the world are still searching for talent, and workers are quitting to find their bliss, so to speak. 

The term “talent challenge” is not a new one. It’s a critical buzzword that every company should be paying attention to as we all continue to navigate the changing workplace climate. When we talk about the talent challenge, we must examine it from a 3-step approach: recruit, engage, and retain. 

So how do you recruit, engage, and retain your people? Let’s dive in. 


The job market has changed a lot over the past few years. Many in the workforce have reevaluated their professional priorities on the heels of the global pandemic. Additionally, companies have been forced to make some pretty tough decisions, which have led to mass layoffs. 

As a result of the big changes, job seekers have become pickier with their next move — rightfully so. What does this mean for you?

It’s time to look inward. You must look to the workplace culture and determine how you can refresh and reset expectations for more flexibility to meet the demands. 

Few are hoping to return to the office full time, so many companies are finding success in offering continued hybrid or remote schedules to potential new hires. If you want the best talent, you have to be just as competitive as the people you’re hoping to find. 


Of course, not all companies are struggling to find good talent and don’t feel as though their recruitment process needs work. One of the most important aspects of overcoming the talent challenge is what comes after people are hired. 

Once you’ve gathered the right people, how are you making sure to engage them in ways that will completely maximize their contribution and their growth? The answer is not always simple, as there are many ways you can and should be doing this.

For starters, look at the way you are setting goals for your employees — both new and veteran status. Historically, sales leaders would rely on complex data analysis to determine the goals they should set for their teams. But if you’re setting goals too high or too low, you run the risk of having people disengage with their work. 

There are some more out-of-the-box ways of engaging your employees that should not be overlooked. You might be familiar with the concept of gamification, but how much do you know about gamifying the workplace with contests, milestones, scorecards, and more? 

Gamification is all about user engagement, which is what we all aim for when it comes to our work. With games, the goal is to get the person playing engaged with a set of behaviors that lead to a victorious end. Reward and recognition — both intrinsic and extrinsic — is at the heart of it, and that’s something to consider when tackling a talent challenge.


Retaining talent is a special skill, and it’s an extension of employee engagement. Look at retention as the goal, and engagement as the strategy to accomplish that goal. 

If you’ve read any sales-related article over the past year or so, then you’re probably familiar with the term “quiet quitting,” which is to say that workers begin to do the bare minimum. The World Economic Forum suggests an emergence of a new workplace trend: rage applying. 

Rage applying is being defined as the act of mass applying for jobs as a knee jerk reaction to feeling deeply unhappy at work. This means that employee satisfaction must be top of mind. 

The key to happy employees is a healthy, supportive company culture. There should be a demonstrated understanding that wellness is the priority. Wellness, as we know it, looks like employee satisfaction. And that can be achieved through proper recognition

Recognizing an employee for their contribution provides a sense of accomplishment and the knowledge that they are valued for all that they do. Those feelings are what lead to employee satisfaction. And, as we know, when an employee is happy, they are much more likely to stick around. 

Retaining employees isn’t just as simple as calling out a job well done. As a leader, you must also be willing to develop your talent and demonstrate a commitment to their professional growth. This can be accomplished through having better coaching conversations, and improved one-on-one meetings. 

Simply put, retaining talent boils down to a few concepts: grow leaders, check in on your people, encourage, and recognize. 

Tools to Help Overcome the Talent Challenge

You are not alone in navigating the waters of a talent challenge. Sales performance management tools exist for a reason, and that reason is to help do the heavy lifting in supporting you and your team on a journey to honing a powerful performance strategy that works for everyone. 

With the right tool, you will be able to motivate, engage, and coach your talent around the activities and behaviors that lead to not only business health, but employee growth and success as well. And you might even have a little fun along the way.

So, what’s the first step in conquering the talent challenge? Contact the Ascent Cloud team to learn more about our sales performance management solution, LevelEleven. Don’t wait any longer to recruit, engage, and retain the best talent possible.

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