How to Retain Your Top Performers
My passion is to improve people’s work lives by improving company performance. This gives me a pretty broad scope of things to write about – everything from the best practices for growth and management to innovations in sales, marketing, and culture.
The key for you as owners, executives and leaders, is not only having the time to keep up with yet another blog, but also the time to let the information percolate and then find ways to apply the nuggets to your company in your ongoing quest for improving performance. I get it – time is the most valuable commodity you have. So, I’ll try to be brief and provide value for your time, with as few buzz words as I can.
First up: “We want to attract and retain top performers.”
I hear that a lot. Unfortunately, most executives focus too much on attracting the best and making the “right hire” and not enough time on the “retaining” part of their goal.
If your team members are as dedicated and committed as you are to the success and mission of your organization you don’t need to read any further. If they’re not, read on…
Key: In addition to the word “retain” add the words “and engage”.
“We want to attract, retain and engage top performers.”
For your company to achieve a higher level of performance your team members must care about the company and its goals as much as you do. To get there the company (i.e. you) must care about them first. This may sound a bit simplistic, but think for a moment about all of the people in your company you come in contact with every day. Do you really know what they care about? What their goals are? What they are passionate about?
For the ultimate level of team member engagement your organization should create the relationships and provide ways for your team members to achieve their goals. We have one of the best companies in the world at providing this environment right in our own backyard – REI. They have invested many resources into creating their culture. However, if your resources are a bit less than REI’s there are still many things you can do immediately that don’t require a huge budget. Here are some thoughts:
Celebrate Victories! Don’t deny things that are less than perfect, but a champagne toast that includes everyone lets people know you care about their contributions.
Have a Friday potluck lunch. Get creative, involve people, let them pick a theme. People have to eat; maybe the company provides the entrée…
Start NOW! Show that you care. Whether it is for the whole company, a department or team, you have to care first. Go out of your way to build relationships, to engage with your team members. Relate to them about the things they care about. (Hint: If you don’t know what they care about find out.) It will pay off now and in the future