A falling star may be a cosmic wonder, but in your company, it’s a cosmic blunder. The top producers you value as a source of high-quality work for your business cannot afford to be lost to boredom or disillusionment. They risk being poached by another company… perhaps even one of your competitors. Then you face the grim scenario of competing against the very people you should have had lighting up the sky with your corporate logo. Cue the storm clouds.
Fortunately, there are ways to keep your stellar performers, plus those above-average ones who have superstar potential, happy. It involves the simple concepts of gravity, rocket fuel, and little bit of faith.
Hire for culture fit.
Seems simple, right? Just keep in mind that whether you are hiring for a small company or large corporation, don’t expect your hire to automatically drop into orbit. If your culture rewards individuals more than teams, you’ll want your people to expect such and be able to excel in those situations. If it’s a team-first workplace, you’ll need someone who is willing to subvert self-interest for the good of the group. In short, you’ll need the right people for the mission. A simple personality test can help you discover if they’ll fit your culture and the team they’ll be working with.
I don’t mean just praise and reward your people–publicly! –for outstanding work, but also recognize that they have interests outside of the office. In fact, instead of merely acknowledging that, you may want to encourage the blurring of the line between work and outside life. Although you may not feel comfortable telling your employees to spend less time at work, the idea here is to fuel the engagement engine. It’s a great way to “humanize” your company to your employees. Now you’re getting ready for liftoff.
Believe in them.
Copernicus and Galileo were ridiculed and even imprisoned for their “preposterous” ideas that the earth orbited the sun. The lesson in this is: Don’t dismiss radical methods and ideas simply because “that’s not how we do it.” Sometimes a great idea flies in the face of conventional wisdom (who’s going to buy bottled water, right?). Give your employees latitude to make decisions and generate ideas; course correct only when necessary.
Hiring and retaining the best talent is not an exact science, but there are sound practices that will yield the maximum amount of desirable results. Regardless of your industry, you NEED – not WANT – to hire and nurture the best if you want to lead your market. Remember, identifying the top performers is only the start of the process. You’ll want to empower them with belief, trust, and recognition. And then, with all systems go, you can sit back and watch them rocket through the stratosphere.