The only folks likely to voluntarily leave you when times are tough? The ones you least want to go!
With the 533,000 jobs lost in November, you’d think employees would sit tight and just be happy to have a job. But there’s one group that may still be itching to make a move: your best performers.
You can understand how it happens: These folks work hard and get great results. Then you reward them with a modest-at-best salary increase. Or maybe bonuses are being bypassed this year.
Worse, if your company’s been forced to lay people off, you’re especially vulnerable. Of course, your superstars weren’t on the chopping block, but these types of personalities tend to be too high-strung to wait around for another round of layoffs. So they start looking for “greener” pastures.
Naturally, you want to do everything you can to keep these key members of your team.
Here’s your best strategy to do just that.
Understand what makes them tick
Ever wonder why Mark gets through his entire agings list and still has time to come up suggestions to tweak your company’s credit app, while Tim is still plodding away at his calls?
The best of the best are motivated by several common things.
Understand what they are, and you’re more likely to keep those marks in your Finance department, even if you don’t have a lot of money to offer.
Here’s what they are:
- Challenging work. This can be a tricky one — many managers equate “challenging work” with “more work.” They’re far from the same. This is an easy one to slip into when companies are being forced to do more with less. If they feel they’re becoming simply a work horse because they’re capable of getting everything done, you could drive them right out the door.
- Career growth. Now might not be the time for big promotions. But you can still work with your peak performers to help them map out a career path, along with the steps that’ll get them there. If that means setting up cross-training within your department or even outside it, make it happen. Maybe you’d want to invest in some additional training.
- Rewards. So a 10% salary jump is out of the question. But if you can direct some budget dollars toward some endeavors specific to your superstar, you’ll be in good shape. Perhaps this person is interested in assuming some supervisory duties. Even having that individual attend a Webinar or teleconference sends the message you think they’re worth it.
- Reinforcement. Opening the corporate wallet isn’t the only way to keep these people working hard for you. Peak performers love to hear that they’re doing a great job and that it’s appreciated. Tip: Try and be specific in your praise. A blanket “Atta girl” won’t earn you many points.