A recent article had an unfamiliar theme: great leaders actually want their high performers to move on from their company. The premise is that strong leaders recognize how to manage “the flow of talent through their organization.” They understand that it’s better to employ rockstar employees for a brief period than retain average employees forever.
But are you actually pushing out your best employees without even knowing it? High performers will want to stick around if you do a few things:
They’re acknowledged for the things that matter.
HR can actually take a cue from Hollywood and use the same approach to recognition. Employees — like actors — should be acknowledged for work done well, not their time with the company. If Hollywood took the same approach that organizations have traditionally taken to recognition and rewards, then Adam Sandler would have received an Oscar for such groundbreaking work as “Grown Ups 2” based solely on his 30-+years in entertainment. Recognizing good work is what matters – especially to high-performers. The best employees will perform well consistently and they should be recognized accordingly.
They’re encouraged to collaborate.
You don’t want any high-performer to work in a silo. For one thing, it’s rare for someone to produce innovative, successful work completely on his or her own. Secondly, collaboration leads to stronger relationships and deeper connections among your employees. High-performing employees are likely to stay if they’re constantly challenged by new work and projects with a variety of collaborators.
Their ideas and opinions have weight.
For some high-performers, it’s a familiar refrain from their managers and leadership: “We value you and want you to stick around. What can we do to make you stay?” Oftentimes a compensation bump is the obvious carrot to dangle. And yes, it works – but only temporarily. A bigger paycheck isn’t at the forefront of a high-performer’s mind if they’re still battling the same issues that made them consider leaving in the first place. Chances are, if a high-performing employee voices their opinion or grievances, it’s not an anomaly. Take the opportunity to use their feedback to dig deeper into the issues that other employees might be too frustrated to share. Most importantly, do something about it.
Are you pushing your high-performing employees out the door without even knowing it?