As we crawl out of the recession, high performing employees will be in greater demand than ever (See blog post: The Coming Turnover Storm.). What are you doing to keep them? Kelly Goldsmith, professor of marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and Marshall Goldsmith, executive coach and author, offer excellent advice for retaining these valued employees. They contend that companies need to do essentially six things to keep their talent: 1) show respect for them; 2) create a work environment in which they can thrive; 3) provide ongoing training and education to them; 4) develop a coaching relationship with them; 5) provide continual feedback to them; and 6) involve them in decision-making.
They make the case that developing these “high-impact” employees is strategically important to a company. They write:
Developing people is a strategic process that adds value to both the employees and the bottom line of the organization. Highly committed, highly competent people create financial rewards for the organization; organizations that develop their people and provide opportunities for growth are sought-after by high-impact performers. Great leaders know this simple formula. They understand it and strive to create an environment that supports it. And the result is success!
The tendency of executives is to assume that employees are motivated by money and that if they are paid well, they will stay with a company. Money is a motivator but it is not the only motivator and often it is not the strongest factor in retention. The opportunity to develop one’s skills and abilities, to continue to learn, and to feel respected and valued, are stronger drivers of retention for many high performing employees.
And this is not only true for high performers; all employees are happier and more productive when they feel respected, are developing their abilities, can contribute to the success of the organization, and are involved in making important decisions. The Goldsmiths' recommendations for retaining high-impact employees are also the characteristics of a high performance organization.