Every company needs outstanding employees in order to remain competitive. So naturally, when you have one or more high-performing, high-potential employees on your team, you want to keep them in your company—especially when you’ve invested a lot of time and money in training them and developing their careers. However, it’s an unfortunate reality of business that you can suddenly and unexpectedly lose one of your best people due to a variety of reasons, including:
- The employee isn’t happy with the work, work environment, salary, or work-life balance.
- The employee, though not actively looking to make a change, is poached by another company.
- An aspirational employee determines that there are better career prospects with a different employer.
When this happens, your company could lose a valuable asset, as well as be tasked with finding and training a reliable replacement. This not only costs time and money, but can also have an impact on any projects that specifically need the attention of someone with the qualifications of the employee you’re replacing. Clearly, it’s in the company’s best interest to prevent this kind of high-performing employee from leaving. What follows are six strategies for retaining top talent.
- Offer competitive remuneration. As Jacquelyn Smith reports in her Forbes article “What It Takes to Retain Your Top Talent,” a survey studying what workers valued in the workplace showed that 70 percent of workers agreed boosting salaries would increase retention and 58 percent believed better benefits would achieve the same result. Compare the remuneration you’re offering high-performers to what your competition offers, and make sure you’re at a par with them in terms of salary, benefits, bonuses, and perks.
- Provide a desirable work environment. Considering the fact that many of us spend most of our waking lives at work, it’s critical to ensure the work environment is one in which your top talent feels comfortable and can thrive. Exactly what a desirable work environment is differs for each company and each employee, but in general, there’s a tendency to prefer workplaces with a casual dress code, as well as on-site perks such as fitness centers, nap rooms, and catered lunches. One good way to find out exactly what your employees value is to hold a short, anonymous survey.
- Offer a good work-life balance. Work-life balance is increasingly important to workers of all generations, but especially to Millennials. Create a workplace that makes it easy for employees to maintain a good work-life balance by offering things like on-site daycare and fitness; flexwork and telecommute options; and even employer-provided healthcare facilities.
- Provide meaningful work. High performing, high-potential employees know their value. If they’re not given work that’s meaningful to them and challenges their abilities, they’re not likely to stay. Make sure to assign meaningful work that strengthens their belief in their contributions, as well as enables them to advance their abilities.
- Offer career development support. Aspirational high-performers want to advance in their field and within their company. Offer them opportunities to develop their career such as courses and certifications. When high-profile projects are available, consider assigning high-performers to them. Make sure it’s clear what career paths are available within the company, and review your employees’ options and progress at least once a year. It can also be a good idea to pair high-potential employees with mentors who can advise them on career moves, as well as help them network.
- Communicate strategy. According to Jean Martin and Conrad Schmidt in their Harvard Business Review article “How to Keep Your Top Talent,” companies that communicate their strategy to their high-potential employees are more likely to keep them engaged. By ensuring transparency in regard to company strategy, you can sustain your employees’ confidence in yourself and the company’s leadership.
Keeping high-performing, high-potential employees on your team is first and foremost a question of keeping them happy. With the strategies above in mind, you can keep your top-performers engaged and excited to help your company advance.