You want to keep your talent, so stop throwing money at it

“Too often, companies seek to win the talent war by throwing ever more money into the mix.” Romrée, Fecheyr-Lippens, and Schaninger in their July 2016 McKinsey Quarterly cited a case of a major insurance company that applied data analytics to address high attrition rates. “As a result, funds that might have been allocated to ineffectual compensation increases were instead invested in learning development for employees and improved training for managers. Performance and retention both improved, with significant savings left over…”

Performers generally want three things from their employer: challenge me, recognize me and develop me.

Challenge me

Your best people want to be stretched, put on the high profile projects, placed in front of senior management, etc. They certainly don’t like to be micro-managed. An effective technique when delegating a task to a performer is to clarify the outcome desired upfront and then get out of the way. Allow them to find their way to the outcome.

Recognize me

An extensive study done by the Gallup organization found that people expect to be recognized and shown appreciation once every 7 days. That’s once a week! How often do you get recognized? Probably not often enough. But doesn’t it feel great when you do get it. It doesn’t have to be lavish praise, “Thanks for saving the company.” It’s as simple as showing them that you appreciate their efforts, “Good job in that meeting or thanks for working late the past few nights.” Let them know that you know they are doing good work.

Develop me

I will address this important topic in a future blog.

Questions for you to consider

Are you giving them praise or showing them your appreciation frequently?

When empowering your performers, are you getting out of their way, allowing them to find their own way to a desired outcome?

Are you using (throwing) money to motivate your best people?