How to Retain Your Top Performers


Improving people’s lives at work has a direct influence on company performance. A better culture and work environment offers more potential for accelerated revenue growth as a team is motivated to be innovative with sales and marketing.

Here we will highlight important points about how to retain top performers and why it is is important.

"We want to attract and retain top performers."

Unfortunately many focus on attracting the best and making the “right hire” and not enough time on “retention”. 

If team members are as dedicated and committed to the success and mission of your organization as you are, you might find validation in the ideas below.

In addition to the word “retain”, add “engage.”

“We want to attract, retain and engage top performers.”

To achieve a higher level of performance, your team must have the same level of commitment they observe when working with you. "Caring" goes viral. Understanding what they care about is the first step.

  • What do they care about?

  • What are their goals?

  • What are they passionate about?

One of the best companies to look to as an example that has the ultimate level of team member engagement here in the Pacific NW.  REI has invested heavily in building a culture of excellence. However, you don't need the depth of resources. There are things you can do immediately that don’t require a large budget. 

Here are six ways to improve the culture and work environment:

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.

Have a relaxation space

Provide a segregated place for employees to unwind — employees need breaks and need to have some form of social interaction. Providing a location for employees to unwind without disturbing employees at work will help morale tremendously. 

Eat together (It doesn't have to be a potluck)

One simple way to help improve the relationship of employees with each other is by having meals together. You do not need to spend a lot of money. You can simply have pizza, sandwiches or Chipotle. Do a short presentation. Leave most of the time for employees to chat with one another. 

Rephrase instructions

Replace 'You should' with 'Let's' when giving direction to staff who report to you and your peers. It's a simple but effective way to create a sense of shared mission. It works everywhere from big strategic plans to small projects. Once you create that mindset, you can break the mission down into specific tasks and make it clear who is accountable for what. The result is a better, more engaged environment. 

Support health and wellness

While you might already be providing health insurance to employees, there are other ways that you can support your employee’s health. While small to mid-sized companies might not have budgets to implement voluntary employee wellness programs, fancy gym memberships or other programs, simple changes make a difference. For example, offer to reimburse co-pays associated with the flu-shot. Who knows, your organization could be featured on Forbes magazine as the top 100 companies to work for or featured in a local business journal, which is excellent for your recruiting brand and offers free PR.

If you don’t know what they care about, here is a way to find out: TINYpulse.

tiny pulse

TINYpulse has proven to be an incredibly relevant and actionable feedback loop around where an entire company can be rallied as a weekly ritual. Whether you are managing a ten person startup, a midsize company or a workgroup within an enterprise, the ease-of-use and actionable insights that TINYpulse generates are transformational.

A better culture and work environment offers more potential for accelerated revenue growth as a team is motivated to be innovative with sales and marketing.

You can start today by showing that you care and go out of your way to build relationships by engaging with your team. Whether it is for the whole company, a department or team, when you relate to them about the things they care about, you might be surprised at the outcome.

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Topics: Leadership