A recent article had an unfamiliar theme: great leaders actually want their high performers to move on from their company. The premise is that strong leaders recognize how to manage “the flow of talent through their organization.” They understand that it’s better to employ rockstar employees for a brief period than retain average employees forever.

But are you actually pushing out your best employees without even knowing it? High performers will want to stick around if you do a few things:

They’re acknowledged for the things that matter.

HR can actually take a cue from Hollywood and use the same approach to recognition. Employees — like actors — should be acknowledged for work done well, not their time with the company. If Hollywood took the same approach that organizations have traditionally taken to recognition and rewards, then Adam Sandler would have received an Oscar for such groundbreaking work as “Grown Ups 2” based solely on his 30-+years in entertainment. Recognizing good work is what matters – especially to high-performers. The best employees will perform well consistently and they should be recognized accordingly.

They’re encouraged to collaborate.

You don’t want any high-performer to work in a silo. For one thing, it’s rare for someone to produce innovative, successful work completely on his or her own. Secondly, collaboration leads to stronger relationships and deeper connections among your employees. High-performing employees are likely to stay if they’re constantly challenged by new work and projects with a variety of collaborators.

Their ideas and opinions have weight.

For some high-performers, it’s a familiar refrain from their managers and leadership: “We value you and want you to stick around. What can we do to make you stay?” Oftentimes a compensation bump is the obvious carrot to dangle. And yes, it works – but only temporarily. A bigger paycheck isn’t at the forefront of a high-performer’s mind if they’re still battling the same issues that made them consider leaving in the first place. Chances are, if a high-performing employee voices their opinion or grievances, it’s not an anomaly. Take the opportunity to use their feedback to dig deeper into the issues that other employees might be too frustrated to share. Most importantly, do something about it.

Are you pushing your high-performing employees out the door without even knowing it?


Hard to believe but January is already coming to a close. For those people who made new year’s resolutions, they might be well on their way toward making change while for others, those resolutions might already be a thing of the past. Some statistics indicate that less than 60% of people maintain their resolutions past the first month. Did you or your team make any of the following resolutions and more importantly, are you still sticking to them?

Resolution 1: Setting New Goals

For many employees, January is a fresh start — A time for re-setting goals, attitudes and priorities. Many times employees will set goals but not check-in again until months later. With the new year comes the opportunity to not only goals but reframe the way they’re achieved. Encourage your employees and managers to collaborate on agile goals — and make sure they have the mechanisms and support in place to adjust them when necessary.

Resolution 2: Changing Performance Management Processes

It seemed that last year everyone talked about why to change, but this year companies can actually transition to a new approach. So what’s replacing traditional, annual reviews? Should managers have more frequent conversations? Are managers being coached on how to make these conversations more productive? Do employees have the tools to solicit feedback from their peers on their team and from other departments? HR is now asking these questions internally and is preparing to actually begin an ongoing, continuous approach.

Resolution 3: Checking Yourself Regularly

This is sort of a trick resolution. Think about the previous two resolutions: have you and your teams not only set new goals but have you checked in and update them since they were set? Have you encouraged your managers to have more frequent conversations with their teams? Do you have any way of knowing how often (or not often) your employees are engaging with one another and with their managers?

With so many tools and processes out there to choose from, it can be daunting to determine which ones will have the biggest impact on the employee experience in 2017. What’s the best way to drive better performance? What are some strategies to maintain early momentum? How can you ensure employees have the right goals that drive toward the company’s mission?

We’re here to help. We’ll be sharing tips and tricks to take the guesswork out of improving the employee experience. Sign up for our email series to get your company’s employees off on the right foot this year.

HR has the difficult task of serving both employees and executives. They determine the processes that drive engagement and a positive company culture. While at the same time, they’re responsible for the strategies that create a high-performing workforce that delivers an outstanding customer experience and top business results.

While there’s certainly a correlation between engagement and performance, it’s widely misunderstood. There’s no “chicken-or-the-egg” dilemma here.

On the surface, it would appear that an engaged workforce leads to a high-performing one. Happy employees mean productive employees, right? But in reality, it’s actually the other way around.

If engagement is an issue, take a look at performance metrics. Are employees meeting or exceeding goals? Are managers regularly checking-in with their direct reports? Has there been a drop in interdepartmental and cross-functional feedback? When employees are excelling at their work and growing as professionals, they’re more likely to be engaged and invested in their employer.

Unfortunately, traditional performance management processes of the past won’t do anything to change performance. In fact, 92% of companies feel their current practices aren’t adding value.

Employers can influence performance in a number of ways. Providing regular coaching can help struggling employees or encourage rising stars. Or, expanding the feedback circle to include cross-company managers and peers gives employees a wider view of their performance in the eyes of their peers.

As performance improves, so does the investment level of employees. That job commitment leads to employees that both passively and actively contribute to culture. In our latest tip sheet, we explain:

  • How HR leaders are getting performance management wrong.
  • What you can do to harness the power of small but significant interactions across your organization.
  • Why engagement and performance must be unified to generate positive business momentum.

Download our newest tip sheet to learn more.