Tracey Rogers, managing director of Unilever Foodsolutions UK and Ireland, says the only way to hold on to top performers is to nurture and recognise their talents, reaping the benefits in the process.
"During the most challenging economic period we've seen in the past 30 years, it is imperative to recognise the importance of attracting and retaining top talent - those individuals who will drive your business forward while motivating others to deliver the highest quality work.
One of the key ways to retain top performers is to seek platforms where their talent can be recognised. This could be special mentorship to nurture their skills, additional project responsibility or internal and external award programmes.
We need to create an environment where the individual can take charge of his or her own professional and personal development. Too often you hear of people moving on with the excuse that their employer wasn't doing enough to help them develop professionally.
It's vitally important to encourage team members to take charge of their own development, to give them the necessary support and advice to make real improvements, and to set goals that challenge while rewarding excellence.
A programme such as the Acorn Awards gives you the opportunity to thank and reward young talent within your organisation. In today's economic climate, a salary increase may not be feasible but it does not preclude you from rewarding the person with a public thanks.
The Acorn Awards recognise the top talent under the age of 30 and have created an elite group of top performers. Who would not want to count themselves in a list that includes Michael Caines, Marco Pierre White and Marcus Wareing?"
ACORN AWARDS 2010
Now in their 24th year, Caterer's Acorn Awards, sponsored by Unilever FoodSolutions, celebrate the future stars of hospitality.
This year's winner will take part in the Acorn weekend (13-14 June), held at the new Abode Chester hotel, where they will take part in a day of team building followed by an awards lunch at Chester Racecourse.
If you would like to nominate someone for an Acorn Award, go to www.caterersearch.com/acorns2010