3 Tips to Better Engage and Retain High Performers

Engage and Retain High Performers A box is labeled "Handle with Care" as you should handle top talent

Would You Like to Better Engage and Retain High Performers?
Most companies need to engage and retain high performers to execute their growth strategies.  Retaining high performers, also known as HiPos, and developing the right talent for the future is what talent management is all about. And to succeed at the talent game, you need to treat your high performers with care.

High performersare not “fragile” in the sense of easy to break. Rather, because they are critical to your business success, they deserve special attention and differentiated treatment.

Three Tips to Better Engage and Retain High Performers
And it’s not all that complicated. It just takes some psychology…understanding what motivates high performers and what keeps HiPos challenged and committed. Here are three tips on how to retain high performers right where you need them.

1.  Differentiate Employee Rewards and Recognition
First of all, high performers are just like the other performers on your team in this respect…they like to be fairly and proportionately recognized for their contributions. High performers are always striving to do better and take on greater challenges. Along the way, they are bound to fail here and there.

It makes it ever more important that, when they succeed or go above and beyond, you shower them with praise for a job well done. Just because, as a rule, they excel beyond expectations, they are not immune to a pat on the back. But be specific with your praise.

Generic praise will fall flat. Thank them for a specific job taken on and completed successfully.  You will know you are on the right path when high performers know that if they contribute to the organization’s success, they will be fairly and proportionately rewarded and recognized.

2.  Treat Talent Like a Strategic Portfolio
High performers and strategic jobs create more value than low performers and transactional jobs. Because of this, smart companies manage talent like a strategic portfolio to create a competitive advantage through people.

Our organizational alignment research found that talent accounts for 29% of the difference between high and low performing organizations in terms of growth, profitability, customer retention, leadership effectiveness and employee engagement. You will know you are on the right path toward differentiated talent when everyone knows what constitutes high performance and your high performers receive the lion’s share of the rewards on offer.

3.  Ensure High Levels of Employee Development and Career Growth
Facilitate the learning and development of your high performers and help their careers to flourish. The worst situation for high performers is to feel stuck or stagnant in their job. HiPo’s crave opportunity…to stretch, to risk, and to learn. They also strive to work with other like-minded high performers.

Keep an eye on opportunities for them to progress in their career. If they are not regularly challenged and learning, they will look elsewhere for the stimulation they need to keep engaged.

The Bottom Line
To better engage and retain high performers, treat your top talent differently.  Give HiPos more opportunities to grow.  Recognize their contributions and appreciate their unique qualities more often. They, and their higher levels of contribution, are worth it.

To learn more about how to engage and retain high performers, download 2 Steps Every Company Should Take to Retain High Performers

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