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Keeping the keepers

Keeping the Keepers

Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes

Businesses always talk about 2 main issues with their staff or team - finding good ones and then keeping them. Another common complaint is that they seem to only ever lose the ones they don't want to.

Well I guess there are a couple of things there. First that if you want an A grade business you need an A grade team.  It means you have to be prepared to cut some loose or liberate their futures.  Because the A graders you've got tend to get frustrated by working with B graders or worse, and thats why they leave.

However thats not the topic for today (check back later for it).

I'm thinking more about the way to keep hold of your top performers.

How to keep the keepers.

And I reckon there are 5 keys to keeping them engaged with you.

  1. Give them a future.  Career progression is important, and knowing what lies ahead can motivate people to stay where they are, working towards something.  They like to be part of a business thats going somewhere.  Its a real motivator.
  2. Be a coach.  And not just the boss, but have a culture where everyone coaches the team members that they work with.  Don't just focus on technical skills, but coach on people skills and public relations too.
  3. Its not just about money.  Yes salary is important.  But lifestyle and being part of achieving something great is often put ahead of financial rewards.  Interesting work will win over cash every time.
  4. Sometimes let them fail.  Its part of the learning and growth process.  Just like you learnt from your mistakes, other will learn from theirs.  Children learn to walk by trying and falling over; you just cant hold their hand forever.  What is critical is how you react and help them to understand the reason why its a mistake.  And never criticise a team member in an open environment.  My first boss taught me "praise in public, scold in private". 
  5. Ask for feedback.  It shows that you're humble enough to recognise not knowing everything, and really helps team members plug in, making them less likely to move to another business.

Now its up to you...

Please note that nothing in this post constitutes financial advice and you should seek the advice of a professional licensed under AFSL regulations.

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