Losing a star performer always hurts. Not only because it is a blow to our own egos, it can also have a substantive impact on the organization. Pragmatically speaking, identifying, hiring, and training a replacement can be cumbersome and expensive.
That’s why managers strive to increase employee retention, especially where A-listers are concerned. And yet, these can be the very employees you’re most likely to lose. Big talents who have little trouble finding good offers elsewhere, and who may be itching to take on more responsibilities and new challenges.
With that said, there are some ways in which you can show these employees you value them, and to illustrate they have long-term opportunities on your team. Here are a few strategies.
Keeping Your Best Employees in the Fold
Practice active listening. It may sound facile, but it’s really true: Listening makes a big difference! Your employees have ideas and opinions, and they want to be heard. As a manager, work on active listening skills, providing genuine engagement when they are expressing their ideas.
Don’t be punitive. Even your star employees will fall flat sometimes. In fact, they’re more likely to fail because they’re the ones who take risks and try new things. Encourage that attitude; don’t punish employees who show initiative by demonstrating innovation, but ultimately come up short. This is a great opportunity to guide them in a constructive manner. This also illustrates your commitment to their growth and development.
Be mission-minded. One thing that all employees want is to feel like their work matters. Communicate openly with your top performers to show them what the big picture is, and how their work is critical to the team as a whole. Make sure they know they make a difference, and are part of something bigger than themselves.
Foster education. Look for opportunities to educate and train your team—whether that means sending them to a conference or arranging in-house training opportunities. Let them know that you want to help them grow, flourish, and become the best they can be.
Give responsibility. Finally, remember that top performers like to be challenged and stretched. Do not allow them to be complacent, as they may grow restless and look elsewhere. Provide new opportunities for them to show leadership and take the lead on big projects.
You can’t make your top performers stay, but you can provide an inspiring culture that will encourage them, make them feel valued, and part of a shared mission. These steps can point you in the right direction.
If you’re having a hard time with retention, there may be some shifts required in your management approach. We’d love to offer some suggestions. Reach out to Loeb Leadership Development Group today and let’s talk!