Tips to Retain High Performers

June 15, 2010 in HR Best Practices


Because of their drive to achieve personal career goals, high performers are unafraid to take risks – this includes leaving your company for a competitor’s.  So how do you keep your best and brightest working for you? 

Use these insights to motivate your high performers and maximize their job satisfaction:

  • They need opportunities to learn and grow.  Ironically, the more high performers are able to grow professionally within your organization (and therefore become more marketable), the more likely they are to stay with you.  Your company must meet their need to remain highly marketable.
  • They need recognition.  Although fueled by their own need to achieve personal career goals, you must give them recognition due.  When appropriate, let them shine.  Stroke their egos, but only when merited.
  • They need continual career development.  Recruit senior employees to mentor high performers, helping them to set goals, develop their careers and take on tasks beyond those designated in their job descriptions.  Mentors should use their status and influence to help these protégés gain entry to groups and experiences that would be career enhancing.
  • They need their individual goals to align with their company’s.  As an employer of these talented individuals, you must match their skills and interests with their responsibilities.
  • They value additional non-compensation benefits.  Wellness programs that promote the general health of employees (e.g., exercise and nutrition programs, health screenings, etc.) are an important factor in a high performer’s decision to remain in his current position.  Additionally, work / life balance programs (e.g., casual dress days, educational seminars, flex hours, job sharing, etc.) increase their overall job satisfaction.

A final note.  One of the biggest reasons employees don’t return to former employers is because they’re embarrassed to think about how to approach coming back.  So if a high performer leaves your company for another, let him know that the door is open for his return, in case he realizes that the proverbial grass isn’t greener on the other side. 

The Kinsa Group specializes in recruiting and assessing high performing professionals for the food and beverage processing industry.  Visit our website to learn more.