Professional Edge Canada

How to Retain Top Performers

Finding a good worker is not easy. The pool of IT talent out there is deep, but those who are exceptional professionals are in the top percentage of employees. Hiring them might not always be difficult. Offering a fantastic employment package might bring them aboard.

Keeping top talent, however, is not always an easy task. Retaining top performers positively must become a major priority — and successful action — on the part of employee managers. Otherwise, many great performers are going to go elsewhere.

Retaining the proverbial best of the best is not easy. Performing a number of very critical steps is required to achieve such results.

Be a little bit flexible with top performers.

All offices must have rules in place. This is a given. Being too constricting on top performers, however, is never a good plan. This is doubly true when imposing rules that are not necessary for the task or duties at hand. Is a rule really important as far as the performance of a job goes? Allowing such things as flex time or loosening up a dress code won’t do much harm — and the steps might make a top performer content to remain with a company.

Do not undercut a top performer’s earnings and perks.

Paying an IT professional as an independent contractor may be routine policy at a company, but doing this with a top performer could be disastrous. Giving an administrative assistant health coverage and a RRSP matching, but not to a top performer sets the stage for a disaster. Who would really blame someone with great talent and skill if he/she left a job after being (financially) insulted in such a way. Nothing is sure to hasten a top employee’s departure than the feeling he/she is being cheated.

Be open to a top performer’s ideas

Sometimes, a top performer does his/her job so well they end up musing on related aspects of IT work and run those things by employee management reps. The performer may make suggestions about how to increase productivity or to reduce potential IT hazards. Never give such an employee a “We’ll take care of it” attitude. Doing so only makes him/her feel under-appreciated. The ideas do not have to be implemented. Failure to implement would not be the sin. Failure to listen and show respect would be.

Freshen up their duties and responsibilities.

Great performers do things with ease, which might lead to boredom. Changing up their duties and work tasks — even somewhat slightly — can have a positive effect. This is not to suggest the employee should be overburdened. Simply changing up a few tasks here or there (such as asking him/her to act as a mentor to new employees) could make the routine tasks of the job a little less routine.

Are any of these steps difficult to implement? Some, truthfully, are easier to put into practice than others. Effort needs to be put in these and other similar steps in order to make sure top performers do not depart. Remember – they are hard to replace.

Info on Author

William Coleman(@wcoleman_corp) is the Managing Director of Professional Edge Canada, a staffing firm helping companies implement Performance-based Hiring and Contract IT Consultants.

Having started out as an agency recruiter in 2009 and moving into the Corporate Recruiting space in 2011, William understands both sides of the business and has assisted companies internally and externally in achieving their hiring goals.

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