22 Jan

How to Motivate and Retain Your High Performers

Posted by Jamie Dargie

You want to retain and motivate the high performers on your team. You may think these people are already highly motivated. Even your highest performing, most-motivated worker may eventually become disengaged and decide to leave.

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You can avoid this by ensuring you motivate your high performers. The good news is it’s relatively easy to do.

Think about Corporate Culture

Many business owners and managers have realized the importance of corporate culture when it comes to retaining and even motivating their employees. A positive culture in the workplace makes it a more pleasant place to be. In turn, employees are motivated to be at work and be productive.

What kind of corporate culture does your company have? Do you routinely encourage employees to do quality work? Do you recognize those who make outstanding contributions? Your policies around everything from awards to vacation can impact your company culture, so give them some thought.

You don’t need to radically overhaul your vacation policy or give everyone a raise. Promoting better teamwork and offering recognition for a job well done are excellent steps toward improving the corporate culture too.

Offer Learning Opportunities

Your high performers are likely ambitious people. They’re self-starters who are naturally motivated. They’re going to keep learning whether it’s on your watch or off the clock. If you want to retain these people, give them the opportunity to continue learning in-house.

Giving people the opportunity to continue learning and honing their skills helps both you and your employees. The employee gets the challenge and excitement of doing something different. New skills may also prepare them for new responsibilities and eventually new roles.

Employees who can take on new roles and responsibilities are an asset to you too. They improve productivity. They contribute great new ideas. They may even move into leadership roles on your team.

If you invest in your employees, they’ll invest in your company.

R&R: Recognize and Reward

In the context of motivating your top performers and keeping them on with your company, “R&R” doesn’t mean rest and relaxation. It’s about recognizing and rewarding your employees.

One of the reasons people disengage at work is they feel unappreciated. They may believe their hard work goes unnoticed. Perhaps the most frustrating part of this is how easy it is to correct! Even a simple “thank you” or a quick note recognizing a job well done can go a long way.

Challenge Them

Another reason people become disengaged and decide to leave a company is boredom. They do the same thing day in, day out. They don’t feel challenged in their roles. When coupled with a sense of being unappreciated, employees begin to wonder why they try. They may become demotivated or stop being as productive.

Your high performers are ambitious people. They want to be challenged. You may not be able to challenge them each and every day, but you can provide them with new opportunities and challenges to keep them on their toes.

A word of caution is in order. Make sure the employee is ready before assigning them new responsibilities. Also ensure the challenge is desired. A situation can quickly become negative if these conditions aren’t met.

Provide Incentive

People are motivated by rewards or incentives. Some managers believe this means giving people raises or handing out cash bonuses. It can, but those may not be the only things employees find motivating.

Some people crave recognition. Others want more responsibility or different tasks after they’ve proved themselves competent. Keep in mind there are many different kinds of incentives and many different ways to motivate your employees.

If you take a few of these simple steps, you’ll be able to retain and motivate your high performers.


Topics: Hiring

Jamie Dargie

Jamie is responsible for leading, developing, and executing the vision, strategy, and business objectives for Eastern Canada, including Toronto and Montreal. A recruitment expert across three continents for over 20 years, Jamie possesses deep industry knowledge having run multi-disciplinary teams for international and domestic recruitment campaigns within contingent search and workforce management for RPO and MSP projects.

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