Photo by Tommy Lisbin on Unsplash


You must build your organizational capabilities if you want to create an environment that will retain high performers. The way to accomplish it is to be committed to strong results with specialized retention initiatives for your talent.

High performers are intense about their work. They thrive under pressure. They‘re engineered to enjoy pressure without letting it become stress.

They believe mediocre performance is to be disrespected. For them and for the people around them, high performers believe it’s unacceptable to fail.

You must proactively demonstrate you want your strong players to be content to stay with your company.  To cultivate long-term loyalty, don’t wait until you think your valued employee wants to leave.

If you wait until the last minute to address the issue, sometimes you can persuade the person to stay. But the problem is you haven’t changed to a culture of winning, and the employee will soon leave anyway.

So to be consistent for a high-performing culture, here are five strategies:

1. Start by training your supervisors and managers

Your managers have to be trained in your new values and retention best-practices.

The old axiom is true: “Employee don’t quit jobs. They quit their bosses.”

So develop your management team to better-communicate and to partner with your employees as a catalyst for high performance.

You can optimize talent management by developing a coaching culture.

(What follows are specific tips for communicating with employees.)

2. Retaining high performers starts with recruitment and hiring

Don’t settle – ever. You must focus on attracting retainable employees.

You and your managers must sit down and ascertain your desired attitudes, backgrounds, abilities, and personality attributes.

This is important not only to attract a high performer to meet a short-term need, but to do it continuously for all employees – to make certain you benefit from a high-performing culture in which strong performers excel. A sports team never wins with just one star player.

3. Think big picture

Typically, organizations will hire a great employee to fill a pressing need. The companies anticipate the person will be successful in the position.

But things go awry when employers mistakenly believe such persons want to stay in that position indefinitely. In reality, the persons are already strategizing about their careers.

What’s the solution to retain them? Determine the persons’ motivations and plan the persons’ career.

For instance, you might have salespersons who like sales work but want to be challenged and to make a better income. You might consider making available better-appealing products and services to broaden their horizons and sales opportunities.

If you have people who want to become managers, map out how they can climb the ladder. Define some long-term goals for their self-study and provide them with management training.

In other words, become expert in helping employees grow professionally,

4. Always keep it customized

High performers share competitive traits, but keep in mind each person can have different motivators. So follow one simple approach: Recognize their achievements and ask them what will motivate them further.

It isn’t always about money. Such performers are competitive – they enjoy challenges. They usually want opportunities for growth.

If they have certain lifestyle preferences, they want a balance to enjoy their time off work, too. They want to feel appreciated with workplace flexibility. Accommodate them.

5. Deal with under-performing employees

Before firing workers who have become unproductive, do the right thing by coaching them. If it’s a simple case of burnout, find out why and take appropriate action.

Some people might be in the wrong position. If they’re been promoted to it make sure they’re not experiencing The Peter Principle (some are promoted to their level of incompetence).

If that’s the case, you’ll have to make changes. On the other hand, sometimes all is requiring is some training or more communication.

If bad behavior is the problem, take corrective measures.

If your employees have gut-wrenching emotional issues from personal problems such as death in the family, divorce or health concerns, show a liberal amount of empathy and support.

About 10 percent of under-performance problems stem from alcohol or drug abuse. In such cases, take steps to try to help the employees.

You’ll find drug abuse is more difficult with which to deal than alcoholism. The right thing is to try to save them and their jobs. But don’t be a doormat in the process.

If the employees have money issues, try to be empathetic. But beware money issues are common cause for embezzlement or theft.

In all cases, be empathetic and supportive. But maintain arms-length professionalism in the process.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are additional resources:

For Strong Profits, Create an Effective HR Mission Statement — So you’re creative in marketing. You’re innovative in human resources. Your company probably has an impressive mission statement. But do you have strong profits?

HR Management: Think Like a Sales Pro to Recruit the Best Talent — One-size-fits-all approach to recruiting employees is not a strategy. You and your peers in human resources might be enamored with technology, but job candidates want more focus on the personal touch. That necessitates thinking like a sales professional.

For Best Performance, Inspire Employees with Non-Financial Rewards — Money talks, of course, and is a way to motivate employees. But money is not always the chief motivator. Here’s why with some ideas.

Probation Meetings – HR Tactics for New Employee Success — Hiring employees is expensive. So it’s important to use tactics that will help insure success of new workers. That calls for probation meetings. Here are five proven tactics.

How to Rock Your Human Resources for Employee Referrals — Admittedly, there’s a myriad of ways to recruit great employees. But no recruitment option surpasses a well-executed, strategic employee-referral program.

Get the Maximum Benefit from Your Part-Time Employees — Are you getting the most benefit from your part-time employees? Many employers are so focused on putting out fires and taking care of their full-time staff members, they inadvertently overlook their part-time employees.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”



Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.