Retaining high performers


One of the key lessons we have learned about what stops organisations delivering great Customer Experience is not having enough of the right people. All too easily top performers leave because of a lack of awareness around of what they need to remain engaged and motivated.

The following are, in our view, the main 10 reasons your high performers will leave your organisation:

Lack of empowerment and freedom

No one wants to be micro-managed, especially highly-skilled talent. Show that you have confidence in your employees by giving them the freedom to perform in a manner or in a direction that suits them best. Provide the framework and the objectives and then let them run.

Tolerating mediocre or poor performance

Talented people want to work with others who will challenge and inspire them, not drag them down. If you allow under-performers to stay even after they’ve proved themselves to be less than capable, either your star players will end up carrying the extra weight or they’ll leave the team altogether.

Too many rules

Innovative and productive people don’t put up with bottlenecks, bureaucracy or arbitrary rules. While it is important to set clear expectations, it is also essential that you allow your talent some latitude. Too many rules also looks like too little trust and trust is a massive driver of loyalty.

Lack of appreciation

Everyone wants to feel valued, and recognition is a big part of that. Don’t wait for annual appraisals or monthly reviews to show you are pleased with them. Recognition should be timely, sincere and regular. It is easy to under-estimate the impact this can have in terms of motivation and feeling good.

Lack of clarity around the company Vision

Great people want to know where they’re going and why. High performers want to know the bigger picture and where all their hard work is taking the organisation. If you don’t share your Vision, you’re leaving them in the dark without any direction or reason to stay.

You don’t know them on a personal level

Your employees want to know that you see them as people, not just as cogs in a machine. This is not about being their best friend and going out with them all the time. This is about showing that you care about them, their family and the things that are important to them.

You don’t respect their boundaries

Motivated and engaged people will give, and will give a lot. At the same time, it is about what you can do for them. It can’t be take, take all the time by the organisation. This is about understanding individuals and ensuring a balance which works for both parties.

They don’t trust you

People need to know that you are true to your word – if you say it, you mean it and you do it. Of all the factors which impact on turnover, trust is arguably one of the biggest. Lack of trust creates fear and uncertainty – not an environment people will want to stay in.

The culture isn’t transparent and consistent

Do your people know what are the acceptable and unacceptable behaviours? Are people measured against these behaviours? When used in conjunction with a Vision, Values (the right behaviours) can have a significant impact on the performance of an organisation.

Constant changing of direction and strategy

Great organisations are bold and courageous and will stick to a course of action. Confidence and integrity and eroded when there are constant changes of direction and high performers do not thrive in such environments.

Lack of humility and within senior management

Even the best of leaders can fall into bad habits without realising it. Showing your people that you will accept feedback, that you are aware of your own shortcomings and that you value and welcome their thoughts and ideas will create an environment where top performers will thrive and want to be part of.

Ultimately, as we all know, having a successful business is all about people – the right people, high performing people and being able to keep them.