Friday, May 13, 2011

What’s the very best way to retain top performers?

What do companies do to retain top performers? recently summed up a report from Buck Consultants, in which survey respondents reported using the following strategies to engage their workforces.

New career development opportunities  41%
Market pay adjustments  30%
Larger base pay increases  24%
Larger bonus opportunities  21%
More non-cash recognition  18%
Additional company stock  13%
Accelerated or off-cycle base pay increases  5%
Accelerated promotions  4%
Greater retention bonuses  2%
Other  7%
None of the above  31%

The fact is, the best way to retain top talent is to pay for it.  But what are some other ways to retain top employees?

1. Treat employees like customers, selling them on culture, respecting them, serving them as you expect them to serve you, and interacting with them to make sure they’re happy.  Listen to their feedback so you can address it. You can do this with anonymous employee surveys but make sure you listen to them in person as well…which brings us to number 2.

2. Have supportive management.  If you believe success comes from the top down, you know management must buy in to your company culture and be mentors to your employees - not just productivity drivers.

3. Have a culture that truly encourages personal growth.  Let employees try things outside the scope of their usual job description.  Most of your employees have a bigger dream their current positions, and if your company helps align those goals with the company’s goals, you have a win-win situation.

A good culture is essential, but nothing without the money.  After all, that’s why we go to work instead of honing our own personal projects in our basements or in coffee shops.  So make sure your pay rates keep up with inflation, your top performers get the regular raises they deserve, and you offer other financial perks and benefits.

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