Note: Because this course is an ongoing series, viewers will not receive a certificate of completion.
Skill Level Intermediate
- High performers make your life easier because they exceed expectations on a regular basis. However, they do pose a challenge. You have to keep them engaged and growing or you risk losing them to outside opportunities. Sounds easy, but it's not. The classic answer is to give them more opportunity. But in many situations there simply aren't great opportunities to give. So what do you do? First, don't make promises up front. To lure in big talent, we often feel compelled to promise them the world. Don't do that. You do need to tell them what you hope to do for them when opportunities allow it, but don't make actual promises. Next, collaborate with them to define a path forward. You're not making promises, but you are actively working with them to understand their aspirations. They need to know that you're invested in helping them grow. Then as time moves on, revisit that conversation to make sure they know you're thinking about them. It's also useful to consider using compensation to send a message. If their performance is amazing over time, and you don't have the promotion opportunities they're seeking, if possible give them a raise. As opposed to a promise, it's real and it conveys that you really value their contribution. One of the more classic responses to this situation is to expand their responsibilities laterally. For example, if you're thinking about opening new markets or somehow expanding the business, get them involved and consider allowing them to own the process. It might not be what they're dreaming of, but it could be a great resume builder. And since it's new work, it will keep them engaged instead of being bored. If it's really necessary, consider this idea. Help them leave the company. Innovative firms today know that top talent seeks opportunities, and that means they sometimes leave. They also know that they sometimes come back, or at a minimum, they might continue interacting with your organization from a new position they find elsewhere. So don't be afraid to talk about helping them. They need to know you won't hold them back. Give them your blessing. Let them know you'll be a great reference for them and that one way or another you want to stay in touch and do business with them. I'm not telling you to encourage your high performers to leave. I'm only saying that after a year or two of no new opportunities, they will be looking for new roles, and you should be ready to positively talk about it. Top talent can be hard to find, and great opportunities for them can be even harder to find. Consider the tips we covered to give yourself a fighting chance. And if you've not done so in a while, go talk to your higher performers now and make sure they're engaged and aware that you're looking out for them. Good luck.