Organizations thrive when they have the right talent in place. How can you attract only the best? Create the right corporate environment.
You can’t expect peak performance from employees who don’t feel their efforts are noticed. Top producers know their value, and they expect employers to appreciate the time and effort they devote to their work. As in any relationship, if you don’t recognize the other party for what they bring to the table and how those efforts support your success, you’ll lose them to someone who will.
How should you support your top producers? Start by acknowledging their contributions. When they get results, recognize and reward them for their efforts, and encourage them to continue bringing their creativity and drive to every task they complete.
Being supportive also means staying attentive to your top producers’ needs. Do they have too much on their plates? Are they buried in busy work and desperate for something they can truly sink their teeth into? Are there personal issues or emergencies demanding their attention — and perhaps requiring some leniency or flexibility on your part? Respecting and caring about your top producers will go a long way toward building a work environment where people are eager to join and committed to staying.
Another staple of healthy relationships is communication — in fact, it is one of the most fundamental building blocks. Dedicated, hard-working top producers drive your business forward, and they want to be heard. All the surface-level support in the world won’t matter if you don’t actually listen to them.
Communication is a two-way street. You as the employer also must be willing to initiate important conversations, check in on the people you work with, and facilitate an open work culture free of barriers. Make it clear to your employees that you’re listening, and you encourage engagement. At the same time, when someone opens a conversation, be an active listener. You may not always agree with their point of view, but you must take their needs and issues into consideration. A supportive environment is a communicative environment.
Open communication builds trust. Top producers don’t want to work in a culture where they feel they can’t safely share their thoughts and concerns. Communicate clearly, respectfully, and often.
Freedom and autonomy are pillars of a good relationship for a reason. No one wants to feel like they aren’t an equal, an individual, and a valuable part of the equation. The employer/employee relationship is no different.
Too many restrictions stifles autonomy and creates an unwelcome environment — one that drives top talent away. Keeping a top producer on a short leash — micromanaging or overwhelming them with inappropriate or burdensome tasks — is a good way to push them out the door. Suffocating environments encourage nothing but a desire to seek employment elsewhere.
You can’t expect creativity to thrive in a culture hostile to autonomy. Rules are necessary, but so is the freedom to experiment and try other approaches. Provide enough structure so your top producers are fully supported but leave room for individual opinions and unique solutions. Empower your employees with a culture of autonomy and watch your employees and your organization thrive.