Retaining your top performers over Christmas – Part 1

December 6, 2018

Retaining your top performers over Christmas can be a challenge. However there are things you can address to ensure your key people return next year. Harvest Director, Maree Herath presents Part 1 of a two part series.

Many a high performing staff member is an employer’s dream come true. They are competent, efficient, highly customer centric and are great team players. They know what needs to be done and they just get on and do it. It’s no wonder employers want to retain such talent.However great employees, as do many staff members overall, take time to think about their job over the Christmas break. To ensure your key people return next year, here’s a snapshot of four typical thoughts that enter an employee’s mind while away and how you can address their concerns before they surface.

  1. Do I like my role?

There are many facets to the actual role and different employees have different drivers. For some it is the intrinsic duties they perform on a daily basis or projects they work on. Many employees derive satisfaction from doing their job and doing it well. These employees meet their KPIs with consistency. The thought that may enter this employee’s mind is “Could I be doing more? Can I work on that exciting project that’s coming up in the New Year? Am I challenged?” Others may be casual or part-time and over the break may think about the nature of their role. They will ask “Am I getting enough work? Is it constant? Is it secure? Does it work with my lifestyle?”

  1. Am I getting paid enough?

Whether full time, part time or casual, all employees want to know if they are earning what they’re worth. Ensure you are across pay scales and market rates, particularly for non award employees. If you’re getting a great deal where you have that exceptional team member for a fraction of the cost you are literally sitting on a time bomb. Make sure you review your staff wages and address increases prior to a break. Then your star employee will be thinking “What a great employer” as they head on leave. The casual or part-time employee will be keen to receive the market rate for what they do, however the bigger thought that enters their mind is “Is my take home pay enough?” Slight changes in personal circumstance may see your employee needing more work or more hours. Cover this off with them and if allowable look to increase their hours on their return.

  1. Am I valued?

Now we look to the more subjective elements. Being valued means different things to different people. Value could be intrinsic where staff know that, through the work they do, they add value to their manager, their department or the company. Having proud employees is a key motivational and retention tool. It’s not normally an overnight or instant feeling, it occurs over a period of time. A simple “Thanks Jan for your work” while nice is not sufficient. Saying “Jan, we really need to have that person who can respond to customers with challenging needs in a timely basis. You constantly attend to our difficult customers. You never flip out and what’s more you do it all with a smile. Our customer service rating and retention is at an all time high and we have you to thank” This is tangible. Ensure your staff are aware of what they do, how they make a difference and the value they bring. Consistently reinforcing this over time shows them they are integral to the business. Other staff members may feel valued in other ways. Examples include:

– gifts or thank you cards

– time with their manager (a coffee or lunch to share how things are going or to say thankyou)

– seeking their input in decision making

– giving them responsibility for projects

  1. Am I acknowledged?

Often in workplaces it is those staff that are weaker that get more attention and accolades especially when improvement and development milestones are reached. As for the high performers they just keep on keeping on. Often because they get on and do stuff this is accepted as the norm. This team member is at greatest risk of becoming disengaged over time if they lack acknowledgment from their manager.

Article written by Maree Herath, Harvest Recruitment Agency Director and author of “Bodysnatchers – Unlocking the Secrets of the Recruitment Industry” .

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