What makes star employees stay

Yes, today we are talking about retaining your superstars.

The diligent ones that show up, move things forward each day, the ones that are passionate from inside out, who make work a better place for their team or the company. At the end of the day, these are people others love and are proud of working with, they are leaders even before they are called one – they move people and metrics in absolute favor of the company each day.

They are hard to find and even harder to keep.

There are a couple of things that make star employees want to stay with your company forever. Today we are listing the top 5 down here.

#1 Purpose

People find purpose in being a part of something that is meaningful and bigger than theirselves. Purpose gives them something to desire beyond the paycheque.

The opportunity to truly be a part of the company comes from being able to believe in it’s vision and mission, in it’s leaders and their hearts and dreams. Plus an inherent conviction that says by staying back and working at it each day, they are moving it forward for the company, their leaders and themselves.

A study by LinkedIn shows that employees with a strong sense of purpose are more involved or engaged, have higher levels of fulfilment and perform better than their colleagues who lack a sense of purpose. Another study shows that 69% of employees would not quit their jobs within the first 6 months if they had a strong sense of purpose.

An HBR article argued that meaning is the new money. Another one says 9 out of 10 people would be willing to earn less money for doing more meaningful work.

When your employees enjoy a sense of purpose it radiates into their interactions with the customers. And people really care about what a brand stands for. They want to do business with companies that share their own values.

#2 People

On an average, employees spend around 6 to 8 hours at work each day. That’s a huge portion of one’s life to be spent with people you don’t like.

Star employees find it motivating to work with people they can look up to and learn from, people they can trust and lead, those that truly come together for a vision and are committed to each other. It’s their relationships with other people that determines the impact or significance of what they do on an everyday basis. When it’s optimal or maximised, it becomes one more reason they enjoy coming back to work each day.

Man was designed for connection. It’s one of the deepest humans needs to be heard, seen, valued and appreciated. If an employee doesn’t feel that way during their 8-hour window at work, he or she will eventually walk out.

#3 Compensation

People and purpose matter to your employees but the compensation tells them how much they matter to you.

The figure speaks for itself.

a) Is it better than the industry standard or what your competitor can offer? – Consider the age of your company, geographic location, industry standards, etc as you answer this question.
b) Asses and highlight your non-monetary rewards from time to time. For example, you can offer your valued employees the option to participate and benefit from the firm’s growth.
c) Create a salary structure that defines the lower and upper limit for each job role. This creates transparency for your employees and meanwhile ensures that you don’t go overboard trying to make someone stay.
d) Have clearly defined roles and responsibilities across the company – pen down the skills, experience or certifications needed. This makes it easy for you to decide on a fair compensation package while letting your employees see why they are paid what they are paid eliminating any comparisons.

Compensations can get tricky and you need to know when to stop or when to walk away.

#4 Leaders

Leaders matter – their vision, value system, beliefs, attitudes, goals, ability to give and receive feedback – all of it makes a difference to your star employees.

When you have leaders who have motivations beyond self-interest, your employees are likely to grow loyal to them and become partakers in their goals or visions.

Good leaders make sure their people grow inside and outside. They enable growth by giving people time, observations or constructive feedback, and a clear direction for the future. They create a safe place for each employee to learn new things, experiment and advance in their careers. People feel thrilled and safe to work with them.

A deep sense of community is also fostered by leaders – people speak up, bring their ideas to the table, have each other’s back and feel a sense of belonging when nurtured by thoughtful minds.

#5 Challenges

Performers are driven by the motivation to solve challenges. Without it, they start to feel like they don’t have enough opportunities to highlight or enhance their skills or expertise in their job. A sense of redundancy sets in.

There are things you can intentionally do and track to ensure your star employees are engaged and challenged.

Share the top challenges you are trying to solve with them. Share your goals with them.
Give feedback – detailed, useful, and understandable feedback. At the same time, encourage managers to Invite feedback, facilitate it, receive and act on it. Feedback has to be two way.

Now and then give them opportunities to define their own responsibilities, so they can pick up what they like to do and do it with all their heart. Help them set their goals. Give them variety in the assignments or projects they work on. Break their goals into measurable short term goals – as they achieve, a feeling of accomplishment and hunger for more shows up. Appreciate their accomplishments. Even the small ones. Be specific.

Wrapping up

Have open conversations with your employees, frequently, not when it’s too late. Be invested, know what’s happening in their lives personally and professionally, ask them if there is anything else that’s stopping them from being at their professional best or bliss.

May the stars be with you!