How to retain your top workplace performers
This probably may not be the advice you were expecting, but the best way to retain your top workplace performers is to simply let go of them!
Your best performers should be spending the least amount of time around you.
Let them go to do their thing!
4 Ways to identify and retain your top workplace performers:
1. Your best performers are clear
Top performers are clear and if they are not clear they get clear, so you can let them go to get the job done.
You don’t have to look over their shoulder and equate whether you can see them or not with how hard they are working.
They empower themselves and know the difference between self-empowerment and authority.
They don’t run amok and they ask for needed authority which you can give.
You cannot empower them, and they know it.
2. Your top workplace performers are accountable
This is vital to understand.
If you feel you need to micro-manage even your best performers they are going to leave you as fast as they can find something else.
They understand personal accountability and if you don’t, and make excuses and blame instead of own your role in what works and what doesn’t, they tire of you easily.
Work hard to remember “treating everyone the same is not the same as being fair.”
Avoid bringing your best performers into the “team” meeting to chastise all when it is really just one or two people you need to hold accountable.
Your best performers tire of the “babysitting” meetings because you won’t step up and handle situations that you hope “the team” will address.
3. Your best performers are continuously learning
If you give your top workplace performers the work of your underperformers with a pat on the head and an “atta boy” for being a good team player they will be looking for the next job in no time.
Don’t hog the challenging stuff.
Give it to your best performers to keep them challenged, not busy.
Then use that time to go deal with the underperformers by either coaching them or putting them on performance improvement plans.
4. Your top workplace performers know engagement is up to them
It’s great to have a boss, manager or supervisor who has been to the employee engagement class that tells them all the ways they need to “engage” their employees.
It’s even better if they take it to heart and do what they were taught.
But it’s not a deal-breaker for a high performer.
On the one hand, they appreciate efforts that benefit everyone; respect, communication, trust, honesty, team events that help everyone spend time together and bond, etc. but they don’t abdicate their engagement level to “what have you done for me lately?”
Always spend time proactively with your high performer and the best question you can ask is “what do you need?”
Yep. Retention is going to continue to be a huge, hairy deal and it is a great market for your best talent to be looking if you can’t let go.
So micro-managers out there, you may need to go to Control Freaks Anonymous to put solutions in place if your best talent is leaving in droves.
Recommended further reading: The difference between leading and managing
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