Just like desert nomads search for oases, smart entrepreneurs are hungry for talent who will help drive their business forward. However, in a tight labour market such as that in Singapore, this endeavor is a feat.
Top performers are meticulously headhunted in the job market. Chances are, your employees know this and know their worth. So it comes to no surprise that they will start looking for greener pastures and move on if they feel exploited or unappreciated.
The challenge for companies is to be able to retain them and avoid losing them to another company, or worse, a competitor.
If you’re feeling the heat due to rising business costs and looking for ways to hold on to your star performers, then this blog is for you. We will provide you with insights into the minds of the high achievers and their expectations, so that you can win their trust and keep them for the long haul.
Give Them a Challenge
High achievers look for meaningful roles and challenges. They want to do things that will help them grow professionally and are aware that they possess niche skills that can be applied to their maximum potential.
Your task here is to keep them engaged and stimulated. Give them a challenge or a project and let them run it. If you fail to provide your employees with projects that inspire them to do better, you will ultimately end up demoralising them, and they will eventually walk out on you.
This applies to all your employees. Treat them with respect and recognize their humanity.
Your employees (yes, even the single ones) have homes and families to go back to. You should respect the balance they need to strike between their personal and professional lives. Think of it this way – if they’re well-rested and have enough time to unwind, they’re likely to come back to work energized and productive. This is going to work out for you.
Consider ways to help your employees give you their best – for example, make an effort to know who they are, grant flexible working hours and allow telecommuting. When they’re back in the office, invest in their growth through training and development initiatives.
Be a Mentor
Nothing motivates top performers like working under a leader who provides insights and prepares them to become better at what they do. You and your firm’s managers can play a part by taking talented employees under their wings.
Let them lead
Don’t just ask your brightest minds for ideas, give them the time and support to implement them too. Make them feel like their views and opinions regarding the company’s future matter. Encourage collaboration and healthy competition between the top performers.
Assign competent junior staff to work under their leadership. Make yourself available for consultation. Set aside some time to sit with them to touch base and discuss issues as and when required. Make it known to them that they have a bright future to look forward to in the company.
Put Them on the Map
Have a plan for them. Career progression matters a lot to ambitious and talented employees. You can promote them to satisfy their need to grow, and if your organizational structure restricts that, you can expand their existing role. This will reinforce their commitment towards your company. Recognize and reward their efforts without delay.
Compensation and Benefits
Offering high compensation and extensive benefits may not be easy if you’re running an SME, especially in the initial years of starting up. However, it is important to let your star performers know that their efforts are recognized through your words and actions.
You can do this through incentives such as leaves, book vouchers, healthcare coverage, or investing in their training.
Also, keep yourself updated on the market rate of your employees so you can meet their expectations and remain competitive when they negotiate for a raise. Also, reward them if you’ve had a good year. After all, you got there, in part, due to their efforts.
You don’t want to get to the stage where your star employees tender their resignation. As hiring managers and owners of companies, you need to be proactive in your efforts to keep employees engaged, satisfied, and loyal. Apply these long-term engagement strategies and you can avoid brain drain.