Every manager should make employee retention a priority and regularly inquire, “How many of my star employees would leave my organization if they could?”
Employee turnover can be expensive. Managers must find and hire replacements, invest in training the new employees, and wait for them to get to up to speed—all while suffering productivity shortfalls during the transition. The more talented an employee, the higher the cost of replacing him/her.
Here’s what you need to do to keep your star employees around.
- Identify them. Find key attributes that distinguish top performers from average performers. Then rank your team against these attributes and identify those employees who are critical to your organization’s short- and long-term success.
- Perform salary and compensation research within your industry and offer an attractive-enough benefits package. Beyond a particular point, compensation loses much of its motivating power. Consider flexible work arrangements.
- Understand what your star employees value and help them realize their values and regard their work as meaningful, purposeful, and important. Often, the risk of losing employees because their personal values don’t correspond with the team’s values is far greater than the risk of losing them because of compensation.
- Get regular feedback from your star employees. Ask, “What can I do as your manager to make our organization a great place for you to work?” Let them tell you what they need and what they like and don’t like about their jobs. Adjust their assignments and their work conditions accordingly.
- Invest in training and development. Give star employees opportunities to develop their skills and increase their engagement and job security. Hold frequent and formal career discussions to determine employees’ goals and aspirations and coach them.
- Give your star employees the autonomy, authority, and resources to use their skills and do their jobs in their own way.
- Keep them challenged and engaged. Make work more exciting. Set aggressive, but realizable goals. Move your star employees around into positions in the company where they will face new challenges and develop critical skills. Employees would like to be challenged, appreciated, trusted, and see a path for career advancement.
- Appreciate and give honest feedback regularly. Make timely and informal feedback a habit. Don’t disregard employee performance until the annual review. Help employees feel confident about your organization’s future. Earn their trust.
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