Keep It Simple…Make It Powerful

At Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport several months ago, I struck up a conversation with Ken, an impressive mid-level manager. After he shared his passion for this work, I asked, “So, do you like your company?”

I cringed when he answered, “They did so much to get me … and are doing nothing to keep me.” He elaborated on the lengths his company went to lure him away from the competition. Aside from offering a sign-on bonus that could easily pay off my car and buy me a new one, the company spent months and thousands of dollars to woo him. Now that they have him, they assume he’ll find his own reasons to stay. Wrong!

High-achievers need great leaders who push them to new levels of success. They crave learning and want opportunities to step well outside of their comfort zones, even if they never say so directly. Most companies want these high-achievers, but few know what to do with them once they get them on board.

The following are three not-so-secret secrets to keeping your high-achievers engaged:

  1. Challenging Opportunities. Once you’re clear about their career aspirations, give them opportunities that will both challenge them and help them achieve greater levels of career success.
  2. Skills. What skills will ultimately help your high-achievers be more successful in their careers and, ultimately, help your company increase revenue?
  3. Share. What’s your vision, and what role will each of your high-achievers play? How will they contribute, and how will they benefit? Don’t assume they know; ensure they know! High-achievers need to know what’s happening, how wins/losses will affect them and how they can help create more wins. So, tell them!

Keep it simple: Spend at least as much time and resources engaging talent as you do attracting it, and the attracting bit will take care of itself.

Misti Burmeister, best-selling author of From Boomers to Bloggers: Success Strategies Across Generations and Hidden Heroes

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