[October 16, 2013] Today’s business environment is changing. Companies are struggling to meet the challenges and the opportunities of a communications-centric business environment. This means that the way organizations are lead must keep pace, in part, by retaining their best employees.
So, how do we keep the best, first-rate employees? It is common knowledge that keeping any employee is about providing the right motivation. Yet, for the “best” employees, the right motivation may be a little different.
Who are the “best employees?” They are the ones who are already self-motivated, hard working, and reliable. These attributes are also some of the most difficult and time consuming to instill into an employee.
Here are five ways to keep the best employees:
1. Senior leaders must establish relationships directly with the best employees based on honesty, openness, and candor. This means the best employees must be able to trust the senior leader and know that the leader has their best interests in mind. Quality, professional communication is the key to a successful relationship.
2. Grant them a high level of recognition. Whether this recognition is in the form of a new job title, promotion, etc., it must be done publicly and with a degree of fanfare. The best employees are motivated by pride in what they do and having others see their work is a big help.
3. Give the best employees autonomy and empowerment to get things done. A simple pat of the back may be important but giving them real authority and influence to execute their tasks will go a long way to giving them true inspiration. Give them worthy challenges on which to exercise this autonomy.
4. Provide an opportunity to grow both professionally and personally. Those who are the best are that way because they already have the inner drive to improve themselves wherever they work. They will grow more with a positive work environment.
5. Remove bad employees. Nothing is more damaging to the best employee’s morale than when they see someone who obviously is failing to perform and is retained (and paid for work they have not performed).
Note that pay is not one of the keys to keeping the best employee. They should be given enough so that their pay and compensation is not an issue. How their pay compares to other employees should be taken into account.
Today’s economy is a “seller’s market” where the employer generally has the best position. Yet, first-rate employees actually have the better position because they are smart enough to recognize their value. Senior leaders must implement a strategy to avoid losing them.