As a manager, you should always be focused on finding – and keeping – talented individuals on your team.
Of course, this isn’t always easy.
Your most valuable employees are likely your most driven ones as well. When it comes to their careers, the sky’s the limit.
If you want to keep them around, you’ll need to make it clear to them just how valuable they are to your company. You can do so in a number of ways.
Be a Leader, Not a Boss
When it comes to your top-performing employees, bossing them around will only serve to drive them away.
Instead of taking the stance that you’re “higher up” than your employees, start seeing yourself as a member of the team.
Lead by example rather than giving orders from above. Develop your team instead of chewing them up and spitting them out. Give credit to others as it’s due, but take the brunt of the blame when things go wrong.
Your best employees don’t need someone to tell them what to do, but they do need you by their side while they do it.
Challenge Them, But Don’t Overwork Them
Your best workers will rarely, if ever, say “no” when you ask them to do something.
However, just because your top-performing employees are also your most capable doesn’t mean they deserve to have an excessive amount of work piled on them. Don’t assume “they can handle it” just because they face each task head-on. Even the best workers have a breaking point.
Instead of piling more and more work on top of them, assign the more challenging tasks to these individuals. Make it clear they are the best person on the team for the job at hand. Push them not to perform more work, but better work.
Pushing your best employees to do even better shows confidence in their abilities, and makes them feel truly valued by the company.
Make Your Expectations Clear
When assigning a task to your employees, make sure they know what the expected outcome of their efforts is.
The last thing your best employees want to do is expend time and energy on a task, only to have you shift the scope of the assignment after they’ve gotten halfway through it.
If a process needs to be followed specifically, be direct in your explanation. If the outcome is what’s truly important, allow your employees some autonomy.
When your best employees know what’s expected of them, they’ll perform to the best of their ability.
Give Proper Feedback and Rewards
Even your best employees need to receive feedback once in a while – whether positive or negative.
Be sure to let them know when they’re doing well, and when they need to step it up.
And, when they’ve done something to bring value to the company, remember that a pat on the back isn’t always enough, even your most diligent worker isn’t above receiving a monetary reward.
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