Risk & Business Magazine Reider Insurance Fall 2015 - Page 21

or younger qualify as Millennials, and in just a few years they will constitute the majority of employees. They are our future! So, managers HAVE to accommodate their high needs or end up hiring C Player Millennials. Brad: Sure, but to really jack up their loyalty and motivation write personal notes of congratulations or thanks to someone every week. Jack Welch (former CEO of General Electric) did this and recipients would be thrilled. R&B: So, what are some simple things managers can do to retain high performers? R&B: Since a lot of companies consider retaining high performers a big challenge, what big steps can they take? Brad: A lot! Managers can Google “salary surveys” and for a few bucks you can see if you’re paying people in their range. Then figure you need to pay high performers a bit more. Brad: Go after “Best Company to Work For” awards … not for the trophy but to become known as a company high performers love. Employees are all over the Internet these days and easily find out if your company attracts and holds onto high performers with an exciting vision, career progression, flex hours, or whatever. Ease up on rules so A Players feel they can soar a bit without having to conform to rigid rules. Google any of the high tech companies to see what they do – a LOT - to attract and hold high performers. R&B: Is it all about pay? Brad: Fortunately, no. High performers will quit if underpaid but they stay for different reasons. R&B: Like what? Brad: Recognition, appreciation, and pats on the back, a feeling that they are important in your company, and they embrace the mission – they want their work to help save the world. R&B: How can you find out if the needs of high performers are being satisfied? Brad: Just ask them, frequently. And listen, really listen to them because they will tell you if they are happy campers and what they like and dislike about the job, the company, and the leaders. Ask what you can do to help them achieve their career goals, which is just a different way of asking how you can retain them. A second suggestion is to make performance goals clear and achieving them even clearer. R&B: Why? Brad: High performers love to put points on the scoreboard; they want clear goals because they like to show off – to exceed those goals. Create not just job descriptions with lists of responsibilities (what to do) but with measurable accountabilities (what results are expected). When they do well, praise the heck out of them. R&B: By doing what – complimenting them at meetings? R&B: What are good ways to help people grow? Brad: Create opportunities for people to grow. When managers are on vacation, make someone Acting Manager. Invite high potential employees to participate in special projects. Put 6 high performers on a real life project that involves them in each other’s areas, with a scheduled presentation to the CEO. They will learn, contribute, and feel appreciated. R&B:: What in your 30+ years of experience is the single most important thing a company can do to pack their company with high performers? Brad: Right! Jim Collins’ best selling books advocate hiring the best people – “get the right people on the bus first and then figure out where to go.” Thousands of Topgraders would say, that is very true. R&B: What is Topgrading Super Lite – the most basic step? Brad: Ok, here goes – decades of research boils down to: Step 1: tell candidates they will have to arrange reference calls with former bosses. High performers love to do it, and low performers drop out. Good. Step 2: ask candidates to go through their entire career – ask them for successes, mistakes, and how their boss would rate their overall performance. Since ^HZY