9 Surefire Ways to Retain Top Talent

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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!
  9. 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.

Earn Loyalty Among Employees in 4 Easy Ways

Employees aren’t as loyal to companies as they used to be.

Consider: 32% of employers said they’ve come to expect workers to job hop, according to a recent CareerBuilder survey.

Other studies show that, each year, the average company loses between 20% to 50% of its base of employees, according to The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

The good news: Superhero managers like yourself can do a lot to earn loyalty among employees and stem the tide of defections to the dark side.

Workers nowadays are often more loyal to their managers and co-workers than to the company, according to one Wharton management expert.

And that relationship with managers can make a big difference in productivity, retention and overall employee engagement.

Here are four ways superhero managers can earn trust and loyalty among employees:

Be a good communicator

Every good relationship is built on solid communication. The same goes with relationships with your employees.

Be transparent about what’s going on at your company. You want to be discreet, but you also don’t want to hide the company’s challenges from employees. It’s either that or they hear the worst-case scenarios through the grapevine from workplace villains.

Communication is also a two-way street. Give clear expectations and instructions to your troops, but also listen for their feedback and put it in action when you can.

Good communication with employees builds trust, which leads to more loyalty.

Avoid micromanagement

You want the job done right. But where’s the line between being hands-on and being the dreaded micromanager?

Keeping workers on a short leash stunts their growth and development. And some managers aren’t even aware they’re doing it.

Let go of the need to control and trust that employees will get the job done. If they don’t, you can deal with it later with more training or constructive feedback.

The point is to guide workers along the way, letting them go through the process of figuring out your instructions and learning the ropes.

No one likes working for a micromanager. And it’s a sure-fire way to break down trust between you and your employees.

Provide training opportunities

Thirty-five percent of Millennial workers consider comprehensive training as a top benefit they’d want from a company, according to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers survey.

Yet, many companies don’t invest enough in training, fearing employees will leave anyway.

Let your upper management know: Training is an investment that your employees will appreciate, and it’ll bolster their loyalty.

We at headquarters, for instance, relish the fact that our company allows us to travel to conferences for professional development.

It’s a perk that helps the company and keeps us engaged.

Investing in training lets employees know you value them, and also gives them superpowers that can help your firm.

Recognize good work

Recognizing employees for doing a good job isn’t rocket science. However, with so much on your plate, you may miss out on opportunities to do so.

Make it a point to recognize a job well done. It goes a long way to making employees feel appreciated – which also builds trust and loyalty.

Recognition doesn’t have to be outlandish, either.

An employee of the month award, a pizza party for meeting a team goal or simply pointing out a good job are all simple ways to boost employees’ spirits.

These are just a few of the ways superhero managers can build up loyalty among their employees. When you gain loyalty through solid communication, recognition, providing training and avoiding the evils of micromanagement, you’ll have a much better chance of fending off negativity and workplace villains.

What are some ways you’ve built loyalty with your employees? Let us know in the comments section.

Listening To Music At Work: A Solid Playlist to Increase Productivity

Every superhero manager needs to focus when he’s battling workplace villains.

One of the best ways to do so? Plug in headphones and listen to some tunes.

There’s debate on whether or not listening to music at work increases productivity. A 2010 study actually showed people fared worse on memory tasks while listening to music in the background, even if it was soothing classical music.

But music at work does help – there’s just a time a place for it.

Listening to music releases dopamine in the reward area of the brain, which can lead to a more positive mood. Music also makes repetitive tasks less daunting.

We at headquarters offer this tip: Listen to music: [Read more…]

How to Give Constructive Feedback

One of the toughest parts of a manager’s job is giving employees constructive feedback. But it’s also one of the most important superpowers managers must improve.

Without good feedback, workers won’t grow. Whether it’s positive or negative, employees need to know where they stand. For our purposes, we’ll use the example of a superhero who has excelled at giving feedback: Charles “Professor X” Xavier, the founder and leader of the X-Men.

For years, Professor X has run a private school that trains mutants and turns them into superheroes like you. It’s not an easy job – he just makes it look easy. Here are four tips to give better feedback like the leader of the X-Men: [Read more…]

The Top 4 Leadership Myths

You don’t need super powers to be a leader.

Some people seem to inherently have leadership skills, much like Superman was born with an array of impressive powers. But others have to earn it the hard way. Even Bruce Wayne had to climb a mountain to learn how to be a hero.
[Read more…]