Tips Your Company Needs to Identify and Keep Top Performers
Most people think retaining top talent is important. Statistically, though, it's really crucial. Top performing employees are ten times as productive as the average employee. Most often, they are also serving as leaders, mentors, and innovators, making them integral to both other employees and your business as a whole. These top performing employees are also likely targets for recruiters and other companies. So how do you retain them? These tips will help your company keep up productivity and innovation by keeping your best employees on board.
How do you identify top talent?Top talent does not necessarily mean C-suite executives and managers. Performance and individual characteristics that are valuable to your organization are what you want to look for when identifying top talent - no matter the employee's rank or title. Which employees meet or exceed the role as put forth in their job description? How are they performing when it comes to employee evaluations? Use official and unofficial management feedback channels to flag those whom you consider top talent.
What are top performers looking for at a company?In a nutshell, most top performing employees are looking for a company with which they can identify. They want a company that shares their values. This can take several forms:
- Business ethics. Is yours a company that employees believe is ethical? You don't need to be a non-profit organization engaging in the greater good. Do you treat employees, vendors, and customers with respect? Do you engage in socially responsible activities in the world at large?
- Company vision and values. Do you have a well-defined strategy and vision that guides both your business and your hiring? Are your resources allocated in line with that vision?
- Corporate reliability. People want a company that is committed to new ideas. While innovation is exciting for top performers, a stable company is also a benefit. Top performers want to be assured a company will be around to nurture their talents. While they want to be encouraged to grow, they also want to make sure they will be supported for years to come if they choose to remain with you.
- Sufficient resources. Top performers, perhaps because of their high productivity levels, are less likely than other employees to think they have the resources necessary to do their jobs. Think outside the box and don't discount employee suggestions for new tools or policies that can help make work more efficient, engaging, and successful.
- Leadership. There's a saying that employees don't leave jobs - they leave managers. Ineffective leadership at all levels and bad management of your top talent in particular can lead to a stifled, low-productivity environment. If an employee is not getting the right kind of feedback to do his or her job properly, it's inevitable they will look elsewhere.
- Compensation. Pay is not the only reason, or even the most common reason, people find new jobs. However, both a salary and a total compensation package that is below industry standard will make it much easier for your top talent to be lured away. Show your employees you appreciate them by offering a decent level of pay and benefits, in line with what your company needs to pay to keep them and what you can afford.