You’ve just hired a rockstar employee—now you’re wondering how long you’ll be able to keep her.
Competitive wages and benefits are not enough to ensure that your best and brightest rockstars will remain engaged. In fact, I bet you will find that when you interview your employees about what they value most at work, very few — if any — will say salary.
Rather, employees are most likely to say something like “even-keeled bosses who made time for me, who helped me riddle through work issues by asking questions, not dictating answers, and who are attentive in employees’ lives and careers.”
For example, consider new hire and rockstar Jill — an outstanding, experienced Property Manager recently drafted at considerable expense from one of the hiring company’s main competitors. Despite her outward success and the success of her newly acquired property, she’s unsure how she’s performing, where she stands in the company, and how she fits into the overall goals of the agency. Her pay is great and she loves the autonomy of not being micro-managed, but over time, she finds herself feeling dispirited by the lack of communication and checks out.
The loss of rockstar performers like Jill doesn’t just leave a talent vacuum to seal; it also leaves a wide hole in the bottom line.
Keeping rockstars engaged comes down to creating a culture of communication — one in which employees know the organization’s direction, how they factor into it, and what’s expected of them.
Following are three strategies to create this culture.
A 2009 survey by McKinsey Quarterly revealed that “praise and accolades from an immediate manager” (67%) and “attention from leaders” (62%) were the top two incentives most effective in motivating employees.
Praise and accolades go a long way in making employees feel distinguished and appreciated. And the power of a pat on the back is increased when it’s done visibly. Employees not only feel the support and reverence of their manager, but the entire organization as well (including top-level executives). Creating an outline for “social recognition” will inspire a culture of appreciation throughout your firm.