Recruitment & Retention Opinion

Engagement Critical To Retaining Top Performers

By Emily Douglas-McNab — July 22, 2013 2 min read
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Retaining the best and brightest employees is critical to the success of any organization. A recent article from Compdata Consulting, “Engaging Your All-Stars: How Successful Companies Retain Their Top Performers,” explains that a key to keeping top performers, or “All-Stars,” is increasing employee engagement and developing programs that make it easier for employees to be successful. They identify high performers as:

...more productive than the average employee. They are self-motivated workers who don't settle for simply attaining the goal. These employees are adaptable, consistent, and reliable. You can trust they'll be able to adjust to new or different situations without sacrificing quality of work. Ultimately, they require less supervision or monitoring because they take the initiative to develop solutions and solve problems...They're dedicated to understanding the goals and objectives of the company, and are not only able to see the big picture, but are also able to see the details. Strong analytical skills are a common characteristic of top performers. They're intuitive, strategic thinkers, and they become your go to people."

Retaining top performers is easier said than done. These “All-Stars” often have multiple career options (remember, A’s have options!) and a strong desire to continually grow and succeed professionally. Compdata provides four actions that organizations can take to ensure the best and brightest employees stay engaged.

1. Build a Career Advancement Program: Paths must be designed to allow employees to progressively take on additional roles and responsibilities. While the development of these programs is important, moving people at the right time to the right role is just as important.
2. Eliminate Waste: Unnecessary work and duplication of effort wastes employees’ time (which is a waste of money) and talents, organizational supplies, and more. It can also be frustrating. If employees understand their job descriptions and job expectations, these issues are much less likely to occur.
3. Linking Pay to Contributions: Organizations must ensure that they are appropriately linking total rewards and performance or contributions to ensure that all staff understand how the pieces fit together and how they personally make a difference. The organization must also be dedicated to communicating the program and the link between contributions and compensation.
4. Welcome Feedback: Great organizations involve employees in the planning, design, execution, and redesign of new programs. Engaging staff in this work will only increase the likelihood of success.

Compdata contends that organizations which focus on these four actions are better suited to “hit a homerun” when it comes to retaining their All Star employees.

How are K-12 talent managers using these four strategies to retain All-Star teachers, building leaders, support, or central office staff? I know many school districts that are currently focused on career advancement, pay, feedback, and employee recognition, but few that are exploring opportunities to eliminate waste. Has your organization taken any of these actions to keep your best people? If so, please share your story in the comments section below!

The opinions expressed in K-12 Talent Manager are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.