Retaining Your High Potential Employees

Do you have employees that are critical to the success of your team?  

You should. 

To keep your high potential employees you will have to understand their career aspiration, create a new reality for the employees, provide stretch opportunities, sponsor their careers, and develop your employees. 

 

Understand their Career Goals

 

Partner with your employees to understand their career wants and needs.  Start to have career conversations to learn what roles they would consider next for their career development, realize what capabilities the employee will need to learn to develop for that next role and learn how you can sponsor that employee’s career by helping to build critical relationships for the employee. 

 

If you fail to understand your employee’s career aspirations, they may believe that you have no interest in them as an individual and go somewhere else where they are developed and valued. 

 

Perception is the Reality

 

Don’t allow employees to perceive whether or not you value them.  Show them that you want to help them achieve their career goals before they walk out the door.

 

Meet with your employees to understand what they would like to accomplish in their career and how you can help them do so.  Discuss the next role or opportunity that they would like to obtain.  Understand the skills that are required to get their future role, help the employees' develop a plan to achieve this next opportunity and assign job responsibilities to help them accomplish these skills.

 

Offer Stretch Responsibilities

 

Provide high performing employees with the potential to do more by taking on additional responsibilities.  Employees with high potential to take on additional responsibilities need opportunities that allow them to stretch, thereby allowing them to continue to grow and develop into future leaders in the organization. 

 

Sometimes, providing opportunities to your employees to stretch can exist on your team.  A stretch opportunity can be created when you reduce your management responsibilities by shifting a portion of your work to this employee. 

 

For example, if we wanted to develop a high performing employee who has no accountability for managing others, and has no prior experience managing others, you can have two or three junior employees report to the employee.  Shifting a portion of your management responsibilities allows the individual to gain the first-hand experience of managing a team, providing coaching to other employees, assessing performance, and guiding staff on how to improve performance.

 

In other scenarios, providing your team with development opportunities may require that your employee gains experience by working on a different project team or across a different part of the organization.  Therefore, as the leader, you have to be open to sharing your employees with the enterprise organization to allow the employee to develop the skills necessary to grow. 

 

Sponsorship

 

Building the right relationships in an organization is instrumental in an employee's professional development.  Helping your employees to build the right connections and network will help them gain access to resources for development.  Expose your talented employees to critical leaders in the organization so that the organization understands and recognizes the value the employee provides to the organization.  Discuss with your senior leadership team how this employee could be an asset to this team or any other team. 

 

Development

 

With today’s labor shortage, having a strategy for talent is pivotal to the success of your business.  Leaders who focus on developing their employees will have a pipeline of talented resources to fill positions internally, while their competitors who don’t focus on development will always have to go to market. 

 

Hiring is expensive.

 

It takes at least three months for a new hire to start to show value in your organization.  The first month requires them to understand your business and organizational culture.  Then the next two to three months focuses on having an impact. 

 

Wouldn’t it be easier to develop your existing employees to assume critical roles in your organization?  The development provides opportunities for valued employees to gain the right leadership skills and provides you with a critical bench to fill open roles in your organization.  Enroll employees in your management development program.  Have employees complete an Everything DiSC® personality profile so that they can understand their own DiSC personality style and the impact they have on other DiSC personality styles.  Recommend employees to attend management training session to gain foundational skills in managing others.