How to Retain Top Performers in a Tough Economy

As the economy is picking up and people are feeling somewhat more relaxed, organizations need to be aware that more of their top performers may choose to leave for greener pastures.  In a recent article in Success Magazine (Johnson, April 2012), it discusses four employee needs that organizations must focus on if they want to inspire these top performers (or any employee for that matter) to stay.  According to Keith Ayers, who heads up the Integro Leadership Institute and is the author of the book, Engagement is Not Enough: You Need Passionate Employees to Achieve Your Dream, employers must find more creative ways to motivate their employees other than through money.  Ayers says that employees must ‘inspire loyalty and passion’ in workers.  He says, “that when leaders see employees as partners in their success, and start treating them that way, morale and loyalty skyrocket.”  He cites four employee needs to meet (along with my thoughts):

  1. Do meaningful work – when employees buy into the mission of the organization, they have an in-depth understanding of why their work is essential and how it ties into the direction the organization wants to go; this helps to build excitement and makes them keep working hard on accomplishing their tasks and goals
  2. Be respected – we all want to be respected, especially by those we spend the majority of our days with.  This includes our co-workers, leaders and our customers.  According to Ayers, “when people feel respected, their natural desire to learn and grow is ignited.”  Allowing employees to work independently and trusting that they will do their best work, as well as communicating openly with them, will help them to feel more respected and they will give that respect back
  3. Be an insider –  being an insider means involvement in decision-making and in creating ideas that will improve work in some way.  When leaders are open to the ideas, opinions and input from their followers, they feel valued which will entice them to want to give back and remain in the organization
  4. Be on a winning team – this relates to the organization’s culture and by creating an atmosphere of inclusion, openness, ingenuity, forward-thinking, and fun.  Showing employees they are valued, through recognition and rewards in some way (again, not just monetary) will help to increase their good feelings about the organization and loyalty

Employees want to remain in their jobs but be happy and satisfied at the same time.  Ayers gives four compelling ways that organizations can work towards to showing their workers how valuable and needed they are in order to prevent them from leaving.  What ways do you, or your organization, work to retain your top performers? Would love to hear your thoughts.

If you would like help to retain your top performers, or increasing employee engagement, call today to get started!


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