5 tips on how to retain high performers in your business

tips on how to retain high performers at work

How to retain high performers in your business

In what was a surprising result, a recent survey revealed that your high performers may not be highly engaged.

The study conducted by Leadership IQ surveyed 1,000 employees and found that the most productive employees might actually be the least engaged.

In an article posted on entrepreneur.com by Heather. R. Huhman, in 42 per cent of organisations, employees who contributed the least tended to be the most engaged.

These low performers were found to be the most motivated to give 100 per cent of their effort at work. By comparison, high performers were losing motivation.

Staff retention is especially critical when your high performers lack engagement.

Huhman offers a number of tips on how to retain high performers in your business by re-engaging with them before they consider leaving.

5 Tips to retain your high performers

1. Ensure high performers get to use their skills and abilities at work

LinkedIn’s recent survey of 20,000 employed job seekers suggests that those seeking employment when they’re already in a job are doing so because they don’t find their current job engaging enough to stay, or maybe their current role isn’t giving them the experience they seek.

To engage these staff members, give them new projects to tackle that align with their skills.

Ask high performers which skills they’re most interested in developing and think of ways to incorporate those into their work.

2. Cultivate shared experiences

Commonly, people become more absorbed or engaged in an experience when sharing it with others.

A possible cause for a high performer’s disengagement is feeling alone.

To re-engage your high performers, try creating more opportunities for group work and team building.

Celebrate wins together and go on team outings to make meaningful memories.

The more shared experiences employees have with one another, the more connected they’ll feel to their work.

3. Hold low performers accountable for their performance

Often, consistent high performers don’t get relevant praise for their results, and over time, it is considered the norm.

Moreover, they don’t see people being held accountable for their low performance.

It’s important to hold all employees accountable for their work, and to retain high performers you need to recognise them in a way that makes them feel they are of unique value to the organisation.

4. Show respect for employees’ ideas

In SHRM’s survey, the overwhelming response was in the importance of the immediate supervisor’s respect for employees’ ideas. Take action on an idea or spend a few minutes chatting with the employee to learn more about how the organisation might best implement it.

Sometimes, employee ideas may not be best suited to the organisation, and that’s ok. What crucial is actively listening to the suggestions, and providing relevant feedback, and encouragement to keep up innovative thinking.

5. Remind employees they have control over their own career growth

High performers want assurance their career is going somewhere, and they want to know exactly what will result from their efforts.

Otherwise, what are they working for? In fact, 47 per cent of respondents in SHRM’s survey indicated career advancement opportunities within the organisation was one of the most important factors in job satisfaction.

So if you want to retain high performers in your workplace you need to communicate career advancement opportunities more clearly and often.

Promote employees based on performance. Since promotions might not be available often, find small ways to recognise top performers more frequently.

Often, it’s enough just to let high performers know how they are contributing to overall business success.

Recommended reading: The difference between leading and managing

Bonus tip! Continue to invest in your top performers development – discover all the upcoming industry conferences, training courses and networking events on our Industry Events Calendar > 

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