Measuring the ROI Top Performer Retention


Most companies today recognize the value of attracting and engaging superior talent. The tough challenge today, however, is how do companies — large and small — retain that superior talent?

There appears to be near unanimity in recent surveys of employees regarding the reason for leaving a company:
  • Not getting along with their direct supervisor, or quitting a boss and not a company.
  • Higher compensation.
  • Seeking better work/life balance.
  • Absence of career growth and challenging assignments.
Interestingly, three of the four top reasons are non-financial. That’s where you as an employer can take the initiative to do more than provide employees with a job and pay check. If employers paid this little attention to their customers’ and patients’ experience, they would likely be out of business.

Here are a few key recommendations we offer to our client companies:
  • Actively demonstrate that you value the unique needs of each employee
    The operative word is “actively,” not occasionally or infrequently. Tailor your HR and benefit programs to your workforce (flexible work schedules, choices in health plan options, PTO banks, etc.). Publicly recognize outstanding performance and employee contributions and achievements.
  • Teach supervisors how to be good coaches and managers
    Too often, the best performers are promoted to supervisory positions. And too often does this promotion occur without preparatory training in effective supervision. Provide ongoing training on issues such as handling conflict, dealing with diverse employees, managing conflict, team leadership, and conducting effective performance discussions.
  • Ensure alignment between your business goals and employee recognition rewards
    Appropriately mix base and variable pay. In so doing, unambiguously link performance to rewards. And then clearly delineate between rewards for top and bottom performers.
  • Nurture the employee ecosystem
    Make sure employees understand what you and your company values, and then practice what you preach by holding team leaders (supervisors and managers) accountable for their actions. Place greater focus attention on high performers and deal directly and unambiguously with marginal performer. Ask top performers what makes them successful in your company and why they stay. And ask employees what is and what is not working and act on their input.
Planned and effectively introduced and continuously managed enhancements typically include the implementation of team and individual learning management systems, variable compensation programs and links between the performance management and compensation systems, and transparent and frequent communication about your company’s strategic, operational and operational strategies, the success or shortcomings in your strategic initiatives, and open dialogue on how to continuously improve.

While there are a number of powerful and successful human capital strategies that can be used in small and large companies, step back and take a look at your company and where some of these tips might add value to you, your customers and patients, and your financial success.

Hedley Lawson, Contributing Editor
Managing Partner
Aligned Growth Partners, LLC