How do companies (traditionally) keep talented employees?
If your business is like many others, there are programs in place that reward employees for staying with the company and not leaving. By creating rewards programs like stock options, employee discounts, and even company-sponsored activities, the business hopes to reduce turnover rates. But as the Gallup author’s explain, these incentives do not differentiate between top-performing employee and those who are unmotivated and playing the costly role of dead weight. This leads us to a valuable insight: lower turnover rates don’t always mean good turnover rates.
Wait, there are actually “good” turnover rates?
Consider for a moment that our business decides to reward all employees with discounts and stock options. This will help keep the top-performers working at our company, but it will also keep the bottom-performers with us as well. Our turnover rate may be low, but the business is still suffering from the effects of poorly selected employees. Take the flip-side of this scenario: our business places no importance on employee rewards and the turnover rate grows. Well, this is clearly not good either as we are now losing both our good and bad employees!
But now we can see our problem, and also what needs to be done. We need to find a way of incentivizing our top-performers to stay with the company, while simultaneously keeping the figurative “door” open for our disengaged employees to exit through.
So let’s hear it, what is the solution?
As we saw in the beginning of this article, I stated that “the secret sauce of success is hiring, retaining, and harnessing the right talented employees.” But this only states the solution in broad terms without specific actions we should take with our employees. Yet, there is a reason for this. In short, there is no single solution for engaging top performers and purging disengaged employees. Corporate culture, management styles, compensation – all of these play a role in achieving the success we aim for but within those lie a plethora of different decisions that we have to make to fit each scenario that arises.
In the coming articles on this blog, we will examine the managerial decisions that make up this larger picture of success. We will dive headlong into the book First, Break All The Rules, while also pulling in other credible resources so as to study the effects that extraordinary management has on people, and, in turn, the success of your business.
Clifton, Don. (2010). First, Break All The Rules. New York, NY: Gallup Press.