3 Strategies to Retain Your Top Performers and Keep Them Motivated

Small businesses invest thousands of dollars per employee to attract, train and retain top talent. These dollars are wasted,hiring talent however, when associates jump ship to pursue opportunities elsewhere.  Keeping teams happy, and motivated to perform their best, is challenging for even the most successful leaders.

It Takes More than Money to Motivate Top Performers

Many managers assume that simply offering pay raises will prevent key people from leaving. A 2018 study reported by CNBC shows that top talent is less concerned about their rate of pay, however, and is more concerned about working for empathetic businesses. Working for someone that cares about them is so important, that 60% of respondents said they were willing to take a pay cut to do so!

The best way to demonstrate your empathy to your team is to show them that you understand their needs and concerns by giving them what they need to grow personally and professionally. Show your people just how much you appreciate their dedication, efforts, and hard work with the following strategies.

Offer Praise and Public Recognition

As humans, each of us wants to feel appreciated. We like to be congratulated when we’ve worked hard to meet goals, and we like to be recognized when we help others.

Show your appreciation by openly praising and recognizing your team’s peak performance. A fun way to do this is to host an annual awards ceremony and banquet. Present your top performers with engraved plaques that commemorate their exceptional efforts and results!

You can then interview the award winners for your corporate website to give vendors and clients a behind-the-scenes look at some of the great people that work with you! You can also say thanks by offering shout-outs to team members on your company’s social media profiles!

Offer Greater Autonomy and Opportunities to Grow

Many leaders crave constant control, but the best understand that most of us perform better when someone isn’t scrutinizing our every move. Top performers especially appreciate managers that trust them to complete their assignments without micromanaging them.

Give your associates greater say and freedom in how they complete specific tasks. Empower them to take action on their own to solve problems.

Give team members regular feedback and specific examples when they exceed your expectations. Offer additional training and provide specific steps they can take to improve their performance.

Schedule time on a regular basis to discuss career development with members of your team. Help each associate set personal and professional goals. Help them create a plan to take on more challenging assignments and develop their leadership skills and grow their career in your organization.

Offer Flexible Scheduling Options

Show your associates that you empathize with them and the challenges of achieving a better work/life balance by offering them flexible scheduling options.

There are several ways that you can help your team create schedules that will benefit both of you. One idea that you might try is to offer associates the option to start their shift a little later or earlier on certain days, or offer split shifts.

If you have work that can be performed from any location, offer opportunities to work offsite by telecommuting. Keep monotony at bay by allowing multiple associates to cross train in different departments, share jobs or to swap out specific tasks. Look for ways to offer customized shifts that are personalized to meet each individual’s specific needs.

Most importantly, don’t penalize associates if they must take time away from work due to illness, or to meet other care-giving needs at home. Look for ways to keep your associates connected with your organization, and their skills sharp, during their time off so that they can continue their professional development and career advancement with you once they are able to return.

Recruiting talent is challenging for every business. Empathetic leaders that use their emotional intelligence to develop strong bonds with their teams are able to discover their specific needs and take proactive steps to meet them so that they retain their top performers rather than losing them to the competition!

About Jane Brown

Jane Brown is a freelance writer.