Motivate and Retain High Performers

Top talent are becoming increasingly difficult for many organisations to identify, atrract and retain which means it is even more vital that companies motivate, engage and retain high performing employees. High performers can contribute up to three times that of an average performer to an organisation, not only through increased output, but by bringing fresh ideas and innovation and leadership and mentoring to other team members.

Once an employee is identified as top talent it is critical that leaders within your organisation work to ensure they remain engaged and motivated to achieve to their potential. Here are five key factors in maximising the performance of your top talent:


Make sure they are a fit for their role

High performers will reach their maximum potential only when they are in the right role. It is vital to ensure that their position is a fit with their capability as well as their behavioural attributes. Taking your star Customer Service Manager and ‘promoting’ them into a business development role has the potential for disaster – building a profile for the role and understanding the characteristics of your high performer will ensure you match the two to maximise the potential for success.

Challenge them to do more

High performers love to be challenged. Extra responsibility can encourage top talent to step up and take on a broader and more strategic role within the business. Give these individuals training and development opportunities to maximise their leadership potential as well as increased expertise within their functional area of expertise.

Create a culture that fosters high performance

Understanding what motivates and engages high performers will allow you to build a culture that maximises their potential. Consider offering greater flexibility around working hours or environment – this can be incredibly motivating for some employees and many high performers will increase their output without being tied to the structure of a 9-5 environment. Giving them greater autonomy may also go a long way to encouraging increased self-motivation, autonomy and leadership.

Recognise and Reward

It is important to ensure that high performers feel valued for the contribution they make to the organisation. Both structured rewards programs and more spontaneous recognition have been proven to have a significant impact on engagement and retention of top talent. Take the time to understand what rewards are meaningful to your team and structure a program that is going to add value.

Provide tools they need to be successful

To maximise productivity you need to ensure that your team have the tools they need to do their job in the most efficient and timely manner. This may be a matter of ensuring technology is current and enables them to work effectively anywhere and anytime or it could be giving them access to training and development tools that will increase their knowledge and output.

Investing in your top talent will pay dividends far beyond what is put in. Not only will it encourage them to step up and increase productivity, it will have a broader reaching impact on the wider team as these high performers lead by example. It will also have a positive impact on your ability to attract future high performers into the business as your organisation becomes known as one that fosters top talent.

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