Ambitious employees are often outstanding performers, ranking in the top 10% of their profession.
Although it’s endearing to have a dedicated, ambitious employee, it’s equally scary, because if they are unhappy with your company, they won’t think twice about leaving you.
If you want to retain top performers, you have to make changes in your work culture and policies.
Your robust recruitment strategies may have helped you acquire this impressive crop of talent, but if they are not rewarded appropriately with career opportunities, appreciation, and promotions, there is a larger risk of them leaving the company.
Here are a few ways to retain your ambitious crop of top talent.
1. Make them feel like your business partners.
If you want to keep your top-performing employees vested in your company, don’t micromanage.
Grant them autonomy.
Give them the freedom in the ownership of their work.
When you trust them, you give them opportunities to perform at a higher level.
2. Recognize their worth.
Top performers have an innate desire to be appreciated and recognized.
Let them know that you see the value they bring to the table.
A Gallup study reported that employees who received regular praise and recognition showed increased productivity, higher loyalty, and are more likely to stay with their organization.
Ensure that you praise your employees at least once a week.
3. Give constructive feedback. Be honest. Be objective.
No one enjoys negative feedback, and no one dislikes it more than your star performers.
But unlike most of your employees, your top achievers are most likely to convert this constructive criticism into a growth opportunity.
If your feedback is objective and unbiased, they’ll hear you out and fine-tune their performance.
4. Invest in their growth.
Your top performers are highly ambitious people.
They have a growth mentality and have an intrinsic need to grow personally and professionally.
Ensure that you create an environment that helps them meet this need. Invest in their growth by sponsoring certification courses or conducting training sessions to upgrade their skills.
5. Expose them to new responsibilities.
When your employees are at the top of their game, it’s an indication that you need to expand their responsibilities.
Allow them to be mentors to new employees or peers.
A study revealed that employees who help others feel more confident, capable, and useful. The feeling of accomplishment can pave a path for their career progression.
6. Ask about emotions and attitudes.
Asking about emotions and attitudes is not the same as giving praise and providing feedback.
The first two relate to the journey, and the latter two relate to the result.
So, if you want the result to be good, you need to take care of your employee’s happiness.
You’ll be surprised at what you can learn from your employee’s emotions and attitudes.
7. Money is not always the biggest motivator.
Monetary rewards do not always guarantee employee engagement.
If your best people are working just for money, then your company is on shaky grounds. Cash rewards are often short-term solutions.
If you want the long-term effect on your employees, try motivating them intrinsically. Some examples are free lunches, childcare facilities, flexible working hours, etc.
8. Communicate openly.
Transparent communication channels play a big role in helping you to retain top performers.
Encourage an open atmosphere by sharing your thoughts and weekly plans with your employees.
Let your employees get acquainted with business performance and how their work impacts their business success. Only when you master the skill to communicate openly, then can you expect the same from your employees.
9. Seek their input and ideas.
In most cases, decisions are made without seeking input and ideas from the employees. Make it a point to ask suggestions before making a decision.
Give them a voice by allowing them to participate in strategic planning and decision-making meetings.
You’ll be surprised at how many brilliant ideas you can receive from your employees; in turn keeping them motivated and increasing their productivity.