Join Todd Dewett for an in-depth discussion in this video Retaining your superstars, part of Motivating and Engaging Employees.
- It's hard enough to select and hire superstar employees, but retaining them can be even more difficult. But it's worth the effort. They're rare, they add more value than anyone else and replacing them is very difficult. Don't assume they're happy just because they're performing well and receiving many accolades. Research suggests that as many as 25% of high-potential employees say they plan to change jobs within the next 12 months. That's because compared to most employees they require stronger clarity, challenge and opportunity, not just money and recognition.
Let's talk about what you can do to keep these folks on your team. Consider these five important tactics. First, be sure to Give Them a Realistic Job Preview. This refers to information about the reality of the job. Not the sales pitch or some glossy description about what's great about the role, but the truth, the good and the bad. Tell them all the great things you wish to share, but you also need them to have their eyes wide open. Tell them about the realities of the pay, the hours, schedule flexibility or lack thereof, what the culture is like and so on.
Tell them everything. If you tell them there's little to no travel, but you ask them to travel a lot in the first month, that's a problematic mismatch between the expectation and the reality. Here's the goal: don't surprise them. If you do, the likelihood of voluntary turnover increases. Next, after you've hired them but before their start date, Keep in Touch. Once they join, make them feel like part of the family. Use email or maybe a couple of phone calls to share information or news relative to their new job.
Use LinkedIn to connect with them and to connect them with others inside the firm. It can be as simple as telling them about certain company perks or community resources and events they might find useful for them or their family. Even though they haven't started, don't let them feel disconnected. Reach out and start building a relationship. Now let's discuss Onboarding. That's the process of taking in new members and giving them the information, tools and skills they need to be a successful new employee. You might use phone calls, emails and, yes, meetings.
Think through all the resources you have including videos, printed materials and internal websites that will provide them with everything they need concerning pay, benefits, their employee badge and any relevant policies. More progressive firms use dedicated onboarding software, so every new employee has one place they can go to deal with any common new-employee issue. Overall, the more you anticipate their questions and answer them quickly, the more time you save and stress you help them avoid.
This early time with the firm is vital because first impressions are huge. Research suggests that the First 60 - 90 days are Crucial. They need to feel at home, which is why when they arrive the first day, their workspace needs to be clean and stocked, whether it's a cube or an office, they should have all needed office supplies, a computer and a quality chair ready and waiting. And be sure during the first week to take them to meet others in the office and to encourage others to drop by and introduce themselves.
Next, when you've got a real superstar, remember that you need to treat them like one. I don't want you to create a Premadonna, but they do need attention. Whether you have a dedicated high potential program or not, keep these tactics in mind. First, dedicate a separate mentor program for your superstar employees, and their mentors should be more experienced superstars. Next, use stretch roles and assignments to keep them challenged. This refers to work that pushes their responsibilties and authority to new heights to test their skill level and promotability.
Finally, offer them next level training. I'm not referring to traditional training opportunities, but off-site high-quality experiences such as executive programs at quality universities. All of these help you better understand them, while signalling to them how much they mean to the organization. Finally, remember to Include executive involvement. Executives can't leave all of the recruiting and onboarding to the HR department. Not with superstar recruits. During recruiting they should meet more than one senior person, even if just for a few minutes.
When they arrive, they should spend time with, again, more than one senior executive during the first week. The senior leader can stop by their office, take them to lunch, introduce them to others or just make a quick phone call to say hello and offer support. Superstars are the rarest of talent. If you're fortunate enough to attract one, realize that they are always the folks with the most career options, even in down markets. So take the advice we just discussed and put in the extra work to ensure they feel at home.
Remember, superstars tend to be networked with other high-performers, so the more you make one feel at home the more they'll help you recruit the next superstar.
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- Assessing employee engagement
- Providing autonomy
- Building a transparent culture
- Modeling desired behavior
- Using monetary and nonmonetary motivators
- Fostering accountability
- Developing career paths for employees<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.