“I have a red hot performer in my team, but I’m scared that she will leave as I cannot offer her anything more right now”
That was the sad cry from a client recently, and you know we have all been there at some stage. We have hired the candidate with great potential, and this one delivers in spades!
So, now you are thinking – can I pay her more? Give her a new title? How can I keep her?
You are desperate to hold on to her. She is everything you want – bright, successful, dynamic and clients love her!
But, you have limited resources and you know she would be attractive to your large competitors.
So, how do you motivate people who are stars to stay with you?
Firstly, you don’t avoid the elephant in the corner and not address it with her. Tell her how important she is to you. Explain why you want her to stay and continue to build her career with you. And, above all, acknowledge that there will be opportunities elsewhere. Don’t be stupid and pretend it is not the case – you know it and so does she!
However, do not make promises you cannot keep. If you say something like “By the end of this year we should be able to increase your earnings by……” then a) you are making it all about money, but, even worse, b) if you cannot deliver then you have just opened the door all on your own!
Do remember one thing – people don’t leave organizations, they leave managers. That, folks, is not a fable – it is an absolute truism. I can tell you that there is a lot of research to back this up.
I have sometimes found that managers do dismiss this fact, and I am convinced that their refusal is self serving. After all, if you accept it, you have to do something about it!
So, how do you motivate people who are stars?
The challenge to every manager is – be an outstanding boss! Be a brilliant manager and spend your time committed to improving the skills and the growth of your star performer.
Look for opportunities for your star to shine. Through your coaching help her to set out some long term career goals and then do everything you can to create the opportunity and the environment that will help her achieve them.
Remember, this is one smart lady and she will recognize she is growing and developing.
Will this guarantee that she never leaves? Of course not, but you have certainly increased the odds in your favor. I know that I was once in that situation, and because of the manager I had, and how he coached me, I stayed a lot longer than I would have without him!
Have you experienced this as a manager? If so, would love to hear your comments and thoughts.