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What Top Performers Want in a Workplace
You probably know the importance of motivating your very best employees.  Maybe they have the best ideas, they achieve outcomes faster and better than everyone else, or perhaps they inspire those around them and help to create a unique work culture. Knowing the importance of retaining top performers, and actively doing it, are two different things.  The things that motivate these top performers aren’t necessarily the same things that motivate the rest of your workforce.  That’s why we asked a few senior leaders and managers at Roth Staffing Companies to give us the low-down on the things that top performers want from their workplace.  Consider rolling out retention strategies that cater to these attributes.

Top Performers Crave a Challenge 

“We’ve found that the most successful employees—no matter what role they fulfill in what industry—need to be stimulated in order to be engaged in their positions,” says Pam Sexauer, Executive Vice President of Roth Staffing Companies. “It’s easy for managers and supervisors to focus on improving coworkers’ weaknesses instead of capitalizing on their strengths, but this can actually lead to disengagement rather than growth.  Allowing top performers to leverage their talents and abilities and focus on their unique strengths to do their job is not only a best practice, it’s necessary to cultivating a great workplace.”

Roth Staffing recommends the following strategies to help departments and organizations challenge and motivate successful professionals.

Discuss projects they’ve enjoyed in the past

A resume can only tell you so much.  Sit down with each employee to discuss what tasks they considered challenging yet rewarding in the past.  Then, set a goal lofty project goal and schedule regular follow-up meetings to discuss progress, challenges, and innovative solutions.

Build a culture of recognition

“The best way to position coworkers for success is to deliberately and strategically create a way to integrate them into your workplace culture,” says Leila Malekzadeh, Roth Staffing’s On-Boarding & Integration Specialist.  “One reason that our organization has consistently been recognized as a ‘Best Place to Work’ is our coworkers internalize our Mission, Vision, and Values on day one.  They feel connected to our Purpose, ‘To make life better for the people we serve,’® and realize that they have the power to positively represent our company every single day.”

Give employees autonomy

Nothing sucks meaning and enjoyment out of a project faster than unnecessary micromanagement. Employees should feel like senior leaders trust them enough to make their own decisions.

Compensation, Bonuses, and Perks

Approximately 16% of successful employees claimed that compensation matters most when considering a career position. One rule of thumb … don’t wait until a top performer asks about their salary.  If you know they aren’t being compensated at the upper end of the scale, go out of your way to get them bumped up before they ask.

Job Security Spurs Better Performance

Could you perform to the best of your ability if you were constantly worried about losing your job?  Neither can top performers—they ranked job security as the third most important element to job satisfaction. Organizations should set clear performance expectations from the start in order to ensure that managers and employees are on the same page.

“‘Best to Work For’ organizations typically differentiate themselves by focusing on opening lines of communication between management and those in non-management roles,” says Sexauer.  “They make dialogue a priority through weekly goal meetings, open-door management policies, and monthly or quarterly evaluations where supervisors and employees have open dialogue and propose solutions.  No matter how you accomplish it, spurring honest and productive discussion within your department or organization is a sure way to attract and keep top performers!”

Sources: North Coast 99, Microsoft, Gallup Inc.