Top 10 things to avoid ‘What the?!? Why did they leave?’

Emma Egan

I have never worked with an organisation that has not wanted to attract the next high achiever. They want someone that takes the initiative, will set goals and achieve them, be agile and capable of lifting the team to achieve great things.

Sadly some of this talent is placed in the hands of well intentioned Managers that simply do not have the skills to handle this high performer. And so the cycle begins… so what is going wrong?

Here are the top 10 things you can do to retain your high performer and ensure they are giving you their best!

1. Set clear objectives and agree on them.

Yes, I am talking SMART goals people – make it specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Make it your pivot point to come back to and adjust as necessary over time. You want to ensure that they are indeed doable, but also be able to stretch them when needed.

2. Get the right tools in place for them to succeed.

Ensure the budget is approved and accessible, make sure they have the right systems and administrative assistance in place so they don’t have to fiddle with the small stuff.

3. Get out of their way.

No one that I know has ever stayed working under a micromanager. Let them get on with the job and your regular catch ups will make sure that they are on track – you don’t need to monitor their every move.

4. Don’t waste their time or yours.

Make your catch ups worthwhile, be on time, set a clear agenda and stick to it. Make sure it is relevant and impactful. Walk out with a set of new objectives for the week.

5. Provide growth and career growth.

Look for opportunities to send them on development days. Be open to them coming to you with learning opportunities and provide the budget to make it happen. Do you have a career path mapped out for them in your organisation? High performers are always thinking about the future.

6. Stretch them with meaningful projects.

Don’t save all the fun stuff for yourself. Involve your high performer in some of the strategic elements of your role, listen to their ideas and let them run with a project or two…..or three.

7. Flexibility

Flexibility is not just being able to work from anywhere. It is having the ability to set some of your hours to their most productive time. Build a culture of outcomes….not a culture of “you must be at your desk between 9-5”

8. Be mindful of burnout.

It’s important to look for the signs, not only in your team, also yourself. https://au.reachout.com/articles/burnout-and-chronic-stress

10. Surround your high achiever with other high achievers.

Successful people are naturally magnetised towards other successful people.

Create healthy competition and get them involved in the team building, not just from a recruitment perspective, but also organising social events.

Keeping mindful of all of these things will help you retain your best people and may also help you in your career. A healthy, successful team is a happy team!

Hand on heart… Are you doing all of these things?


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