No one achieves long-term success by themselves. Behind every successful athlete, artist, or entrepreneur there is a team that helped them get there. That’s not to say the athlete, artist, or the entrepreneur have no merit in getting where they are.
What I am saying is you can’t do it all and be everywhere. Yes, you started that way, you had a dream, an idea, and you worked your butt off to make it happen.
But if you want to grow and grow fast, you need a team, you need top performers who are willing to invest their time and talent in you and in your idea.
Which leads me to today’s topic: How do you keep your best performers happy?
How do you make sure the people who helped you achieve your dream are living their dream?
High performing employees are your most important asset and how long they stick by your side it’s up to you.
We often see entrepreneurs so busy, so much “buried” in work, they forget about the people around them. They forget to stop and listen to them. They keep pushing and pushing in an effort to achieve one more goal, and then another one.
Success is a journey, not a destination.
There will always be more work to do, more clients to attract, more products or services to sell.
But it’s up to you, as an entrepreneur and leader, to make the journey enjoyable for your team.
Google found that happy employees are more productive and engaged.
Keeping your best performers happy it’s easier than you think and, on the long run, your company will collect the rewards.
Why You Should Keep Your Best Performers Happy
Did you know one in five high performers are likely to leave their jobs in the next six months? Moreover, less than half are satisfied with their jobs.
That’s pretty mind-blowing stats.
Among top reasons best performers leave a company are: Their expectations are not met, they don’t feel valued, they don’t receive feedback, growing opportunities are not there, and they are overworked.
Let’s take them one by one.
Do you know what your best of the best expect from you and your company? Have you talked to them, have you listened to them?
How do they want to be rewarded for their commitment to your company and for their work?
You may assume it’s a higher paycheck, a pat on the back, or a spa ticket.
Stop! Please don’t assume. Go talk to them.
Ask them about their dreams, aspirations in your company, but also their personals goals.
It will help you get to know them, make a bond with them, and learn in the process as a leader.
Of course, listening to them and not doing anything about it, won’t work either.
You have to take their expectations and see how they fit into your business plan, what you can offer to keep all parties happy and engaged.
Make Them Feel Valued
I know you appreciate your top performers and you are grateful for having them by your side.
But if they don’t feel valued, they will leave you eventually.
Have you stopped to think about how you can show appreciation for their efforts, for their work? You know you can count on them no matter what, but do you show how much that means to you?
We tend to assume people around us know what they mean to us. After all, you give them a paycheck every month, right?
You might also assume that if they have a problem, they’ll tell you.
You’d be wrong, again.
They are the best of the best because they know how to get through the tough times, they know what it needs to be done and they keep pushing. That’s not to say they don’t need recognition and rewards.
Talk to them, find out what they want, and how you can fulfill those desires.
Feedback is very important for high performers. Maybe more than for the rest of your team.
Lack of feedback is a big problem for many organizations. Your top performers want to know what they can do differently and better. A once-a-year review is simply not enough.
They want recognition for their outstanding performance, but they also want feedback.
Keep in mind they are always looking to improve, to do better and better.
Give them feedback on a regular basis, make it personal, and be there for them.
No matter how cool their job is, if there are no growing opportunities, they will leave.
Top performers are constantly looking for professional development opportunities, to challenge themselves, to grow in and outside of their roles.
When you get to know them, when you listen to their aspirations, include that in your development plan. Even if you can’t offer them a promotion, involve them in different projects, outside of daily work.
But be careful here.
Many leaders and managers tend to do this and transform it in a mistake: You can’t involve your top talent in new projects on top of the daily work they have. That leads them to burnout and very fast.
Because they are the top in your team, you might feel tempted to give them more and more work. After all, you know you can rely on them to make it happen.
And you tell yourself you challenge them, you stir their creativity and they’re happy about it.
Guess what: With more work volume, with longer to-do lists comes burnout. No matter how engaging the work is, if they don’t have a feeling of achievement or completion, if everything they do is work, with no rewards or celebration of their merits they will burnout.
You need to take care of your best performers, period.
Richard Branson said,
Take Care Of Your Employees And They’ll Take Care Of Your Business.
What are you doing today to keep your best performers happy?