Congratulations! You’ve got a talented superstar who’s a huge asset to your organization. Are you doing all you can to keep them? A recent survey by CEB Global reports that one-third of star performers feel disengaged from their employer. In other words, they’ve already checked out and are looking for their next job.
Turnover is risky and expensive. When you include the costs of lost business due to disruption; a loss in terms of training; the departure costs; disruption to productivity; and the expense of hiring, it represents about 40% of an employee’s salary. For the average Canadian salary ($48,000) that cost of departure is estimated at $18,000. (Manulife Financial)
The good news is that you have complete control over the things that keep the best people engaged and contributing if you choose to:
1. Show them the big picture.
Your top people genuinely care about mastering their work and making a difference. As a leader, clearly define your company’s true purpose (think beyond the bottom line) and demonstrate it wherever possible.
2. Balance being professional with being human.
How many companies demonstrate compassion? Show that your people mean more than their eight-hour work output. Celebrate their wins, empathize when they need support, and challenge them when they need a nudge.
3. Give rewards and recognition.
Top performers won’t accept being ignored. This doesn’t have to be complex or costly, but it should always be credible. Earned financial rewards and perks are important, but so is a sincere mention in a staff meeting, or a personal note of thanks.
4. Establish strong performance management.
Don’t reward or ignore underperformance. It demoralizes the top performers and encourages underperformers to stay. Managers sometimes turn a blind eye to underperformers or give them endless chances to redeem themselves. Encourage and support tough, but fair decisions.
5. Strengthen individuals and teams.
Provide opportunities for personal development and access to the tools needed to advance their careers. Encourage them to grow as a team, welcoming projects that allow collaboration and play a direct role in your company’s success.
6. Most importantly, elevate your HR function.
Despite the growing importance and complexity of managing people, many businesses treat HR as if it were just a necessary administrative function. But HR can lead the way on several fronts, including the above five steps – which are not quick fixes. They are long-term strategies that should be aligned to your unique market and your culture. They require thoughtful establishment and ongoing management to deliver the dividends that will set you apart.