Do You Have a Key Employee Retention Plan?

keyemployeeretentionplan

If you’re fortunate enough to have a few high achieving employees on your team, you should be doing everything you can to keep them happy. High achievers can often put out double the amount of work when compared to average performers. But high achievers can be challenging to manage. You’ll need to understand what motivates these employees and develop a key employee retention plan if you want to optimize results.

Key Employee Retention Plan

You might be accustomed to prodding and encouraging your reps to kick up their activity levels. When a key employee comes along, things change. They finish every task you give them. They enter the results of their activity in the CRM. And then, they might start suggesting improvements to the work process.

Some managers might feel threatened and worry this employee is coming for your job. Don’t be like that. Recognize the skills and talents the team member possesses. Then, find a way to use them more effectively in your organization.

Understand Motivation

To understand what drives an individual’s action, you must look beneath the surface. Once you get to their motivations, you can find way to keep them active and engaged. Psychometric assessments will give you a detailed understanding of why a person acts the way they do. If your key employee delivers the sales contracts but also insists on using a process that is a little unorthodox, they may have a high need to stand out as an individual. In a work situation, they’ll want to be distinctive instead of trying to blend in. As Alaina Love remarks in her recent SmartBrief post, managers should know what high performers would do “even if they weren’t paid for it.” To optimize your key employee retention plan, allow team members who need to be distinctive the freedom to close deals in their own way.

Appeal to Their Curiosity

Key employees will always “be hungry for new understanding and knowledge.” A high need for finding the truth is often the motivating factor. The benefit to you and the organization is that these employees may come up with new ways for prospects and clients to use your products and services. To keep their thinking fresh, give these team members opportunities to attend webinars and training. They may also appreciate sitting in on technical sessions about the detailed workings of a product.

Optimize Manager Fit

When you invest your time and energy into understanding who your team members are, you can improve their work experience. Your key employees may work very efficiently, which means they may also have little patience for working with other people who offer their own ideas. Katharine Giacalone calls these people steamrollers. To keep them happy, you should always let them know their opinion matters. In the long run, you’ll be able to retain your opinionated key employee by giving them problems to solve and then implementing some of their suggestions.

If you’re not a manager who likes to share power with your staff, adjust your style. Key employees can help you shine as a manager when you give them more responsibility. And, you can help them build skills they need to achieve their career goals.

You can learn more about how well you fit with specific individuals on your team by studying the fit metric in the psychometric assessment results. Managing and retaining key employees requires skillful balancing on your part. You want to motivate team members to do their best, but they’ll also need to operate within boundaries that allow everyone else to feel comfortable.

Photo by Rebrand Cities on Pexels

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.