Every manager strives to keep employee morale up, as happy employees usually equal productive employees. Even when surrounded by a strong team, those same managers are always able to identify a handful of employees who produce at exceptional levels.
Star employees can take your organization to new heights, but they are also the most challenging employees to retain and replace. They are usually more self-aware and ambitious, therefore making them more likely to move on if they feel their needs are not being met. Compensation might help keep a star employee satisfied temporarily but it is only one method and even the almighty dollar won't be enough if an employer or certain position is unable to meet the employee's other needs. By following these simple steps, your organization can become masters of star employee retention.
1. Communication/Relationship Building
Building strong relationships is best accomplished with a foundation of open communication. Open communication builds trust and shows employees that their voices are respected and being heard. An employee who feels that they can openly express their feelings and opinions with their manager is more likely to communicate any particular dissatisfaction before it reaches a breaking point, thereby giving management the time to react.
Managers should strive to build strong relationships with their star employees. Not only will it allow for the early identification of potential issues, but it will also play a large role in whether that star employee stays or goes. Recent research shows that almost 40% of workers have left a job primarily due to their manager. Open communication builds trust and respect and should be the first step when looking to optimize employee retention.
Once an open communication channel has been established, managers can utilize that relationship to recognize and reward star employees in a timely manner. Star employees often know they are stars. However, that doesn't make them impervious to a good old-fashioned "job well done". Recognizing when an employee has done a job especially well goes a long way and lets the star employee know that their efforts are appreciated.
While the recognition of managers and peers can go a long way, so too can a more tangible reward. Although are typically well received, there are other ways you can reward star employees without spending piles of money. Simple rewards can include lunch out, a gift card for their favorite store, tickets to an event or maybe even an extra paid day off. A personalized gift will always mean more to someone than a generic one and will help strengthen the relationship with the employee.
Star employees can also become disenchanted when they feel they don't have adequate responsibilities or room for growth. By understanding the career goals of your employees and promoting from within you can show employees that your organization is a place where they can grow, improve and be rewarded.
Managers must work with their star employees to help them develop. Schedule regular times to meet with employees to discuss their development and work with them to make it a reality. Stars can shine even brighter when they are nurtured and quality nurturing is the most effective way to keep star employees!