Every manager knows fantastic workers aren’t always easy to come by. For every superstar, there are a handful of duds.
You’ve probably had one or two workers with the arrogance of Tony Stark, the unpredictability of Magneto, or even the recklessness of an untamed Jean Grey.
What you’re really looking for is someone with Professor X’s leadership, Bruce Banner’s intelligence and Bruce Wayne’s morality.
So when you do manage to hire an A-list employee, the last thing you want to do is lose him.
In a competitive world, retaining top talent can be difficult. There’s always another job around the corner offering higher pay or better benefits. The key to keeping a great worker could very well be your superb management.
Here’s what you can do to retain top talent at your company:
- Coach, don’t manage. Try to focus on coaching your employees, giving them the authority and space they need to execute and succeed. You can do this while staying accessible and available for help and problem solving. Think Nick Fury. He brought the Avengers together and is there for support, but he certainly isn’t micromanaging them.
- Create growth opportunities. Sure most people start out as the Robin to someone else’s Batman – but nobody wants to stay a Robin forever. If jobs are available, always start by looking within. Make internal openings visible to your workers and give them the chance to apply. If stellar employees aren’t permitted to grow, they will wilt quickly — or leave. So make sure you understand the career paths for your best and brightest employees.
- Take the time to learn their ambitions. How can you effectively manage people if you don’t know their career goals and ambitions? This is essential information. A good time to collect this information is at performance reviews, where you can discuss aspirations and opportunities at your company.
- Create clear expectations. Happy employees know what’s expected of them. Everyone should know the company’s expectations, performance metrics, goals, etc. If employees are left floundering in the dark, they will quickly grow frustrated and resentful. Even worse: changing expectations, which create stress and anxiety for employees.
- Operate with fairness. One surefire way to alienate employees: Show preferential treatment. If employees perceive unequal treatment or unfairness in the office, you can guarantee they’ll start looking for their next job. This behavior destroys morale and motivation – and it never stays secret. It’s normal to have favorites – who wouldn’t prefer Superman over Lex Luthor? – but it’s best to never let it show.
- Let them prove themselves. Much like the students at Professor X’s school for young mutants, your workers are eager to prove their worth. The best employees aren’t content to just sit around. They want to contribute! The first step here is identifying your workers’ skills and experience. Then, tap into it. Strong workers are eager to show you what they’ve got, so let them.
- Communicate. One thing that’s important to remember: It’s not always what you say, it’s how you say it. If your communication style or body language is offensive in any way, you’re unlikely to retain good workers. Face time is important, as people derive more meaning from nonverbal cues than words. Even a team like the Avengers would fall apart pretty quickly if their communication was poor.
- Don’t underestimate the value of rich incentives. If higher pay isn’t an option, great incentives and benefits can be just as enticing. It doesn’t have to be a huge gesture – it could be something as small as taking an employee out to lunch. The key is to inspire loyalty, and the best way to do that is with rewards and recognition. No one likes feeling unappreciated!
- Promote philanthropy. Every superhero gives back – it comes with the territory. Whether they’re saving lives or thwarting villains, community service is what it’s all about! So, take a leaf out of their books and encourage employees to donate their time for the greater good. Getting involved will show employees and customers that your company is committed to a higher purpose. Bonus points if you can find a charity that fits your business, and let your workers volunteer during work hours.
Now that you know what workers are looking for, you should never let a good thing go. Just zero in on those top performers – and stick to them like green on the Hulk. Comment below on which way you will keep top talent today.