How to Recognize Your Solid Performers And Get Them To Stay With Your Organization

They’re calling it “The Great Resignation;” an economic growth spurt coupled with the mass adoption of remote work has turned the job market upside down. Employees all over the world are resigning from their current roles in favor of new positions that offer better compensation, more flexibility, or more challenging opportunities.

Many companies are struggling to maintain competitiveness in the job market now that talent pools are no longer confined to a specific city or region. Employees can work from any location, which means employers are now competing over the same talent at a national level.

So how exactly do companies remain competitive? The Great Resignation has essentially presented businesses of all sizes with the same challenge: “Who are our top performers, and how do we convince them to stay with our organization?”

Retaining talent in today’s job market can be challenging, but not impossible. The good news is a business consultant can help. Companies of all sizes are turning to consultants to help create and maintain a working culture conducive to employee engagement and satisfaction. By transforming your company into a place employees want to be, you’ll be better equipped to not only attract talent but also to retain your top performers.

If your organization is struggling to retain its top performers, here are a few tips we share with some of our clients:

Start By Identifying Your Top Performers

Your company’s success in 5 or 10 years is contingent on its future leaders. Now is the time to identify them. Work with your management teams to create lists of your top performers.

These are employees who go above and beyond in their day-to-day work. They’re willing to take on stretch assignments and guide and mentor others. They’ve had significant accomplishments that can be tied to real business outcomes. Perhaps they have a specialized set of skills that would be fairly difficult to replace. These are the people your organization can’t afford to lose, so they should be the primary focus of your employee engagement efforts.

Create Opportunities For Growth

When you offer employees more responsibility, it’s perceived as a sign of trust. Additional responsibilities challenge employees and serve as growth opportunities. Opportunities to grow are critical for employee engagement, as they will help your workers feel valued and find meaning in their position. Growth and meaning are two highly coveted characteristics of any career opportunity.

If your top performers are knocking it out of the park with their current roles, expanding their responsibilities is not only important for their growth, it’s important for your company’s growth as well. Promoting from within and assigning stretch roles are two great ways to give your top performers more responsibility which can lead to higher levels of employee engagement.

Prevent Employee Burnout

While your top performers may drive significant results, they also have a tendency to burn themselves out. Top performers set high expectations for themselves and often won’t take a break unless they’re required to do so. 

In order to keep your employees happy and prevent burnout, make sure you’re providing adequate sick, personal, and vacation time. You also want to create an environment where employees truly feel like they can unplug and step away. When you set the expectation that employees must constantly check emails on vacation, it can lead to bitterness and resentment. 

You can also give employees a short break when it comes to work and assignments, especially when in-between large projects or shortly following a large milestone or accomplishment. Remember, nobody is capable of firing on all cylinders 100% of the time.

Offer Competitive Compensation

For some companies, paying top dollar for talent might be unrealistic. However, when it comes to salary, fair compensation is more important than ever when it comes to retaining talent especially as inflation has reached an all-time high. To start, your HR department and management team should conduct thorough market research to understand average salaries based on line of work, skills, and seniority. 

Remember, base compensation isn’t everything. If significant annual salary increases aren’t feasible, one-time bonuses, employee stock options, HSA contributions, or extra time off are all important components of a compensation package. You can also assign bonus incentives contingent on customer performance, so it feels like everyone has skin in the game.


Your employees have valuable perspectives about your business, products, and competition. They can serve as valuable sources of meaningful details and insights.

As a leader, learning to listen benefits you and your employees. For your benefit, listening allows you to gather important perspectives that you can use to help guide your product development, refine your service offering, and enhance your company mission. For your employee, listening skills help them to feel respected, secure, and a meaningful part of the team.

Show Compassion

Employees want to feel as if their managers and company leaders truly care about their well-being. Always encourage your managers to get to know your employees on both a personal and professional level.

There are many ways to take interest in your employees’ lives. Be flexible when your team members are dealing with personal matters. Don’t make your meetings all business; take time to learn about each person as an individual. Team building activities and lunches are a great way to get to know your team on a personal level.

Create A Culture Of Recognition

There are many different ways to express recognition, and some methods may resonate with certain people more than others. It’s important for managers to take the time to figure out what form of recognition is most meaningful for their team. Here are several common ways to display recognition in a work setting:

  • Recognizing achievements via a company-wide email
  • Calling out accomplishments at a team meeting.
  • Verbal acknowledgment during a private one-on-one meeting.
  • Treating an employee or a team to lunch.
  • Providing rewards such as extra time off, treats, or gift cards.
  • Monetary rewards such as a bonus or annual compensation increase.

Recognizing an employee’s good work often isn’t enough; try to help them see how their work is connected to real, measurable business outcomes. Explain the chain of events that is likely to take place as a result of the employee’s work. When an employee can directly tie their own efforts to business outcomes, they’re significantly more likely to be engaged and motivated.

If your organization is struggling to retain its top talent in today’s job market, adjustments to your management strategies could help. At Lilly Consulting Group, we work with executives and HR teams to help create a work atmosphere that is both engaging and rewarding to high-performing employees. For more information on how we can help, contact us today.

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