Six ways to motivate top talent in de-motivating times
3) Respect and appreciation. This is probably the least expensive and least used method to motivate and retain top talent. Small things can make a big difference with top talent. Respecting their contributions, listening to them, including them in the decision making process, asking for their thoughts and ideas all make them feel respected and appreciated. Consider building a culture that respects your top talent so they feel appreciated. Top talent does not want to be taken for granted.
4) Consistent feedback. This could be considered a subset of number three, but more formal. This includes regular and structured 1-on-1 feedback sessions. Not standing in the hallway conversations, but actually sitting down and focusing on them. Giving them feedback, encouraging them, listening to what their needs are (even if you can’t meet them, just listening), taking an interest in their career and building a shared bond. This makes them feel their manager cares about them as a person, not just an employee.
5) Praise. You may have experienced a manager with this philosophy: “That is what they get paid for. Why should I thank them? They should thank me for having a job.” How did you like it? Compare that to a manager with this philosophy: “Thanks, I know it is just part of your job, but I appreciate the pride you take in your work. It helps everyone in the department.” How did you like that? A little praise goes a long way to motivate people. In difficult times when people are doing more than expected and yes maybe they should be glad to have a job, demonstrating appreciation will be returned when the economy turns and they don’t have to be working there any longer.
6) Education and Growth. Top talent insists on getting better. They know once their learning curve flattens out, future opportunities can become limited. Top talent does not like to have their growth potential limited. Giving your best people the opportunity to take some additional classes, lead a project outside their normal job, challenge them with new opportunities, give them a chance to serve on a cross functional team or take an on-line class will ensure they are becoming better. All these not only ensure your top talent is growing, but also makes them a more valuable employee.
Consider these six areas as a way to motivate your top talent. Your best people will appreciate this more than most managers realize. The increase in productivity by having motivated employees is the best ROI any company can receive.
Brad Remillard is a speaker, author and trainer with more than 30 years of experience in hiring and recruiting. Through his corporate workshops and industry association speaking engagements he demonstrates how organizations can effectively attract, interview, hire and retain top talent. Brad is also the co-founder of Impact Hiring Solutions and co-author of, “You’re NOT the Person I Hired: A CEO’s Guide to Hiring Top Talent.” For more information, visit www.bradremillard.com.