How to Retain Your Rock Star Performers

You know the guy who lingers by the water cooler, going on about last night’s reality TV show, while all but ignoring an impending work deadline? He’s likely happy just to have a job. But what about your star performers? The highly-skilled professionals whose loss would strike a significant blow to the company? How do you keep them engaged, challenged, and fulfilled at your organization – and keep them in your organization? Will the occasional “Well done!” and good pay keep them around? Unlikely.  As a leading Houston staffing agency, here’s what we know about keeping rock star performers around:

Simplify processes – Star performers love spending time on real challenges, but loathe busy work. One way to help keep them engaged is to remove non-value added tasks. A company we know of has employees upload their credit card statements into a system that automates their expense reports, while their competitor requires employees to staple receipts to a blank piece of paper and line item every transaction. All else being equal, which company is more likely to retain star employees? When managing work becomes a larger task than doing the work, your best employees will grow frustrated quickly.

Provide the best tools – Just as you wouldn’t compete in a tennis tournament with a wooden racquet, you shouldn’t expect your top talent to perform at their highest level with antiquated tools. While purchasing “best-in-class” software and devices for every facet of their job may be cost prohibitive, work with your employees to identify the most critical tools and then invest in them.

Eliminate micromanaging – Nothing frustrates a talent more than a micromanaging, helicopter boss. Once given the tools necessary to do their job, talent professionals expect the autonomy and trust to perform. The best way to enhance their productivity is to eliminate the unnecessary red tape that stands in their way.
Keep them up-to-date with information – Unless you’re in the antique business, your industry is rapidly evolving. Keep your employees up-to-date with information on their industry, function, and jobs. If you think you can’t afford training, competing with an undertrained, under informed workforce will almost certainly be more costly in the long run.

Recognize their work – Showcasing a star performer’s work can be a strong motivator. We know of one boss who sent a note to “The Ellen Show” detailing how proud he was of an employee’s contributions. The submission didn’t make the show, but it went a long way in letting the employee know her work was valued. Be creative in seeking out methods to showcase your employees’ talent.

Challenge them –Given the choice between a fabulous work environment with ho-hum work or challenging work in a so-so setting, most talented professionals will choose the thought-provoking work. So while flexible schedules and corner offices are wonderful perks, they’re worth little if you aren’t pairing them with stimulating work.

Keep them in the loop on project context – Let your rock stars know how their projects fit into the broader company picture. After they’ve completed a project, communicate what’s next. Great employees are always looking ahead for the next challenge and will want to know how they fit into the grand scheme.

Got any advice for keeping your rock star employees your own? Let us know what’s worked for you.

About Murray Resources
Founded in 1988, Murray Resources is a leading Houston staffing agency, providing quality professional-level placement services, as well as temporary, temp-to-hire, contract, payroll and direct hire administrative/clerical services.

Over the past 24 years, Murray Resources has developed a unique placement process to match candidates based not only on experience and skill set, but also on how well a candidate can put that skill set to work within a particular corporate culture. Murray Resources’ 95% Performance Evaluation Score represents one of the highest placement satisfaction rates in the industry. For more information, contact Murray Resources at 713.935.0009