How do You Keep Your Top Performers…and Attract More of Them?

Top Performers

How do You Keep Your Top Performers…and Attract More of Them?

In Part 1 of this 2 part blog, we talked about how to identify those key players on your team; the force multipliers that literally keep your business running, growing and innovating. You may have been surprised to learn that the top performers in your organization are up to 400% more productive than the average performers. With that kind of productivity on the line, keeping those top performers needs to be a top priority. A study by Future Workplace and Kronos revealed that 87% of employers considered employee retention to be their biggest concern in 2017. Another element to consider is that employees are feeling a greater sense of confidence in their abilities to acquire new positions in this candidate-driven market. A study by Glassdoor revealed that 53% of employees believe that if they lost their job, they would be able to find another matched to their experience and salary requirements within 6 months. Employees that outperform their coworkers can enjoy an even greater level of confidence in their abilities to secure alternative employment. Your top performers are vital to the success of your business. How do you make sure you keep them?  Furthermore, how can you ensure that you are cultivating a pipeline of similar talent? Here are a few practices and programs that employers can implement to attract and retain top talent.

Foster Healthy Supervisor-Employee Relationships

According to Gallup’s State of the American Manager study, one in two employees has left their job to get away from their manager at one point in their career. A Forbes article states that employees leave managers, not companies. It’s easy to blame many circumstances when a good employee decides to leave, but the root cause is often their direct leadership. Whether the complaint is that their supervisor is too demanding, has unrealistic expectations, doesn’t give clear explanations of goals, or is just plain disrespectful, it needs to be addressed to avoid more turnover in your organization. Overworked and underappreciated employees will churn. It’s just a matter of when. Another Forbes article explains how, as a manager, you can promote a healthy relationship with your team using the 5 R’s:

  1. Show them that you trust them by giving them more Responsibility
  2. Acknowledge your employee’s work and treat them with Respect
  3. A Revenue-sharing option engages them in the company and motives them to work hard
  4. Rewards such as recognition, free lunch, thank you cards or flowers go a long way with employees
  5. Relaxation time; time to focus on the other roles they play in their lives creates work-life balance

Organizations that make management accountable for employee turnover, engagement and general motivation are much more likely to retain their best performing employees, and secure more of them.

Enhance Compensation Packages

According to an Employee Satisfaction study by the Society for Human Resource Management, a robust compensation package was the second most important contributor to employee satisfaction, ranked just behind the desire for respectful treatment of employees at all levels. Social media is giving employees and jobseekers a great deal of ammunition when it comes to negotiating salaries and raises. The availability of sites like Payscale and  give candidates an easy way to measure what their value is in the current job market. Sites like Glassdoor allow employees to rate employers based on different metrics, salary being one of those. With this information so readily available, and compensation ranking so high for employees, it would be a mistake to underestimate the affect that inadequate compensation can have on your turnover rate. Reviewing and benchmarking your compensation packages is not only essential to employee retention, it is also a pivotal part of maintaining your competitive advantage as an employer in a candidate driven job market. While compensation usually does refer primarily to base salary, employers can also opt to offer incentives in addition to base salary. As long as you keep your incentives easy to understand, achievable, and consistent, your employees will see them as a part of the total package. Non-cash compensation such as paid time off, continuing education opportunities and company-sponsored travel time are creative options. These types of benefits can add a great deal of perceived value to any compensation package.

Encourage a Flexible Work Environment

This is another topic that may require definition in order to implement it successfully in your organization. The Society for Human Resource Management defines a flexible work environment as one in which employees and employers both agree on where, when and how the employee will work to meet the needs of the organization. This may be easier to implement in some companies than others. It may not be feasible for every department to allow employees to work from home. Allowing some and not others will create jealousy and resentment. In order to make a flexible work environment work for you, you’ll have to look at how it can best work in your particular business. For some companies it may mean working remotely from home. For others it may mean a 4-day work week, job-sharing or split shifts to give employees more flexibility. Some employers still view a flexible work environment as a measure that only benefits employees. A recent Society for Human Resource Management study showed that 91% of hiring managers believed that a flexible work environment positively influenced employee engagement, job satisfaction and retention. This may be the greatest case for implementing a flexible work option, and will be beneficial in keeping your top performing employees engaged and satisfied with their role in the organization.

Understand and Encourage Employee Engagement

A Glassdoor survey revealed that while 90% of executives understand the importance of employee engagement, less than 50% actually know how to address the issue. One obstacle may be a lack of understanding of what employee engagement is. According to Forbes, employee engagement is “the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals.” Employees who are engaged see their job as more than a paycheck. They take pride in their work, and are more likely to work overtime and accept additional projects without having to be asked. Engaged employees feel more loyalty to the organization and its mission, and are less likely to leave. As far as how to engage employees, that could be another blog in itself. Generally speaking, managers should communicate goals clearly to their employees, and provide timely feedback. Focusing on strengths rather than weaknesses helps to elevate employee engagement as well. Encouraging team and group activities builds comradery and trust. Many sources argue that while this is a valuable retention tool, employee engagement has a direct correlation to profitability. A study by Dale Carnegie Training revealed that companies with engaged employees outperform those without by as much as 202%.

Institute an Employee Referral Program

One of the most effective ways to cultivate a pipeline of other above average performers is through referrals. An ERE Media article revealed that referral sources are the #1 source in hiring volume, new hire quality and speed of hiring. When your employees, especially your top performers are the sources of your referrals, you’re more likely to get a higher quality candidate with similar ideologies. Your employees know the job and understand your company culture. This can save valuable time in the candidate screening process. Your newest top performing employee may not even apply to an open position with your company. They also may not have a resume on any of the standard job boards. Employee referrals will draw these off-market people to your company when they may not have found it otherwise.

In order to understand how to make your highest performing employees stay with your organization, you should first recognize the reasons why they leave. Look critically at your organization and make improvements where necessary to make sure that you’re fostering an environment where high performing individuals feel appreciated and have an opportunity for upward mobility if they choose. Give them enough responsibility to show them that you have faith in their abilities, and enough down-time so they don’t feel overworked. Build a management team that shares the company’s ideology with regard to employee engagement and best practices so everyone is on the same page from the top down. Recognizing that every employee is an individual with different strengths and abilities is vital in any organization. Recognizing and rewarding those employees who go above and beyond is not only important, it is essential to ensure the future success of your business.

Bradley Staffing Group is a full-service staffing firm based in Wayne, PA. We are committed to matching A-level talent with best-in-class businesses. Our knowledgeable and well-trained staff brings a combined 70+ years of staffing experience to our clients and candidates alike.



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