Happy Veterans day to all veterans. Thank you for your service. Last week I had the opportunity to speak at a lunch sponsored by What’s Up Media and the Crofton Chamber of Commerce. I talked about elevating performance and how building a team of high performers can help your company beat 80% of the competition. The challenge for many small businesses is that they often can’t pay the highest salaries or provide the best benefits. So how do you attract and retain employees that give you a competitive advantage?
When it comes to working with employees, business leaders KNOW that about 20% of their team takes most of their time. Typically, what happens is the highest performers get ignored. Why? Well, because are doing a good job, and really don’t require much attention. They work hard, get the job done and are always dependable. Karie Willyerd points out in her article “What High Performers Want at Work”, that “A high performer can deliver 400% more productivity than the average performer”. (Karie Willyerd – NOVEMBER 18, 2014). So, the questions aren’t about being able to afford your All-Stars, but can you afford to lose your All-Stars?
Provide a challenge
All-Stars don’t become all-stars on accident. They challenge themselves to improve, and do things better, faster, and cheaper than others. They enjoy the challenge of performing at a high level. Without that challenge, high performers will get bored, and look to fill that need elsewhere (like your competition). There are always new challenges and problems you are facing as a business owner. Ask your All-Stars to help you find new and challenging problems to solve. Include them on strategic initiatives, new projects, or process improvements. Your business will be able to separate from the competition, and your star employees will remain challenged and engaged.
Create a game
Creating games in your business is always fun. It brings out the competitive nature in people, and boosts morale (if the game is fair). I’m not talking about going bowling or having a bocce tournament in the lawn at work. I am talking about a game that affects business outcomes.
Ideas would be to challenge each shift in a manufacturing facility to see who can produce more on a single shift or have the fewest quality defects. You could challenge salespeople to see who can land the biggest contract. Create a game that promotes desired business outcomes, make it challenging and achievable, and again you’ll see morale improve. Not only will your all-stars benefit, but you may create some more all-star employees!
Performance based pay
As I stated earlier that “A high performer can deliver 400% more productivity than the average performer”. If you truly have a high performer, and they are that productive, you will get a competitive advantage. Share in some of the reward with the employee. Pay could be based on commission, based on overall company performance, or even equity. This gives the employee a feeling that he/she had skin in the game. They are recognized and rewarded for their hard work and incentivized to continue to improve. This is another win-win for you and the employee.
This Week’s Challenge
Don’t forget your employee All-Stars. If you take them for granted, your competition may not. Find ways to incentivize and recognize your all-stars to make sure they continue to give you the competitive advantage you need!
If you need help, or would like to learn more about how to retain your top performers, please reach out to me. I’ll be happy to help!