This video identifies what high potentials find most motivating as well as demotivating in a work environment. The starting point in learning how to best retain high potentials is to understand what’s most important to them, what will help them stay, and what will compel them to leave.
- High potentials have a greater impact on your company's business than anyone else. It makes sense that keeping them motivated and retaining them is an important task. It can be a challenge, but one that's well worth it. The data supports that motivating and retaining high potentials is a challenge. You may feel the same way. In fact, half of executives surveyed said that their organizations don't effectively retain top talent. You might be surprised to learn that what company's think motivates high potentials isn't what actually motivates them.
Studies show there's a huge gap between the two. The first place you might go to is salary, and giving them higher pay, but 64% of high potentials say they're dissatisfied with the job experiences and career growth, not money. What they're really looking for are the things that take more effort on your part. Instead of giving them more money, focus on their growth and development. Give them more challenging assignments, increased responsibility, and autonomy.
They'll jump at opportunities to shape the way things are done in the organization. Let's look at some practical strategies to motivate and retain your high potentials. First, give them a chance to make a difference. This might look like having them lead new teams, start up new offices, or be involved in new areas that will grow the business. Once they're in challenging roles where they can have an impact, give them autonomy and the ability to make important decisions.
Support them but don't get in their way. Second, pay close attention to who is leading them. Who high potentials have as a direct manager, and how they're treated is particularly important. They want to be supported by their leaders and not micro-managed. They want to be trusted, respected, and inspired. Leaders inspire high potentials by sharing a picture of the future that's compelling.
Inspiration also comes from interesting work, challenging tasks, increased responsibilities, and living up to high standards. Leaders can help others see how they contribute to the organization, and motivate them to achieve greatness. Third, high potentials may already know they bring a lot to your organization, and they want you to acknowledge and recognize that. They want to feel valued.
Remember, recognition can take many forms, and that it's not money that will do it in this case. One way to recognize high potentials that's often overlooked is to give them a chance to interact with senior leaders. They most likely want to progress to senior leadership themselves, and will relish the chance to get to know top decision makers and have their work highlighted to them. So, what demotivates high potentials? It's often the opposite of what we discussed as motivators.
One of the most significant to avoid is micro-management. When high potentials feel that they can't approach their work independently, they might not feel trusted or respected. Also, putting high potentials in a reactive or tactical role makes them feel like they can't make a difference. They feel like they're constantly putting out little fires instead of making an impact at a strategic level. Don't forget that the starting point is to understand what motivates each individual.
From there, tailor strategies to each person and check in frequently. Great things are possible when you have high potentials who are motivated to drive the success of your business.