Chances are, you already know that attracting and hiring the best-of-the-best to work for your organization is key to success. But getting top talent to sign an offer letter is only part of the battle—convincing stellar employees to stick around is equally important.
In the day-to-day chaos of running an organization, it can be easy to focus on putting out fires and neglect the long-term investment in employee job satisfaction in the process. As a result, the initiatives that keep rock star employees engaged and motivated long term often aren’t prioritized. But the consequences of losing a top performer can be devastating for an organization, so a solid retention plan is worth the effort.
So what can you do to keep rock star employees from leaving? Here are seven key strategies to retain top talent:
1. Know what they’re worth. By the time they’ve decided to leave, it’s too late to offer them the raise that may have kept them with you. If your employees feel under-compensated, other employee engagement initiatives aren’t going to be enough. To keep top employees happy, offer competitive financial incentives and total rewards that are at or above the market.
2. Encourage learning. Keep star employees interested and engaged by encouraging opportunities for learning. Know what their goals are, and find a way to help them reach those goals by investing in their professional development. Provide a professional development budget, and give them paid time off to expand their knowledge and gain new skills.
3. Show them the path. Keep employees motivated and help them visualize a career path with you by spelling out what the future with your organization could look like. Collaborate on a career plan for each of your top employees, and support them to grow with your organization.
4. Play to their strengths. As a general rule, people like doing things they’re good at. So notice areas of strength, and keep tabs on duties employees enjoy focusing on. Reward top performers by playing to their strengths and delegating tasks you know they’ll find interesting.
5. Offer a two-way review. Solicit real, meaningful feedback during performance reviews. Top performers have great insight into your business, and asking them for their input is an excellent way to make them feel valued. Keep them invested in your mission and shake up the performance review process by offering a two-way review that provides them with an opportunity to give feedback as well as receive it.
6. Encourage celebration. Create a tradition of recognizing and celebrating employee accomplishments. Recognition and appreciation at work are essential to employee engagement and retention, and celebrating excellence together is a great way to build your ideal culture and nurture a cohesive and collaborative team.
7. Conduct exit interviews. Most employees don’t stay with the same organization indefinitely. It’s inevitable that at some point, a key employee you really wanted to keep will leave. Mitigate the damage by conducting exit interviews to pin down why they’re leaving and prevent history from repeating itself in future.
Your Engaged HR Assignment: Do you have a rock star retention plan in place? If not, it’s about time to start! Take the first steps by having a check-in with each of your top performers to talk about career growth opportunities with your organization. It’s a great way to keep everyone excited for the future!