How to Keep Your Rockstar Employees in MyBlog
Published on: Monday, November 16th, 2015
I bet you will find that when you interview your employees about what they value most at work, that none or few say salary. Instead, 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.
Tangibles like salary and benefits are not enough to guarantee that your best and brightest rockstars will remain engaged. Take new hire rockstar Jill, for example an outstanding, experienced Property Manager whom Property Management Company X recently drafted at considerable expense from one of its 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, 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. So how can your company keep its rockstars engaged? It comes down to creating a culture of communication — one in which employees know where the organizations direction is, how they factor into these plans, what their contributions is and what’s expected of them. Here are a few crucial strategies you as a manager or your company can employ to make this happen.
- Have a Great Training Program
The average Starbucks barista gets more training in a year than the average employee in a property management company. Arguably, for most employees, the single most important motivational factor is the capability to learn. Yet most property management companies that I am familiar with have a huge disconnect when it comes to observations about company training. Many apartment community employees say they learn by figuring things out on their own, but generally feel confused when not provided with enough direction.
- Deliver steady, constant feedback
Employee feedback is a precarious part of the education progression, and shouldn’t just be consigned to the annual review. To be effective, feedback needs to be specific and actionable. But unfortunately because of time constrsaints and the inevitile fire of day-to-day property management life that’s not always how it works.
In a study by Leadership IQ, 53 percent of employees believed that when their boss praise excellent performance, the feedback does not provide enough beneficial information to help them repeat it. And 65 percent responded that when their boss is critical of poor performance, they don’t provide enough beneficial information to help them correct the issue.Feedback, both positive and constructive, is most effective when given right away. Negative feedback given a month after the fact can lead to a passive-aggressive environment in which an employee feels powerless to act on the advice.
- Publicly and Overtly recognize good work
Frequently, managers see motivation in terms of financial compensation, but money is far from the only way to successfully reward rockstar employees. A 2009 survey by McKinsey Quarterly inquired which incentives were the most effective in motivating employees. The top two responses were: “Praise and accolades from immediate manager” (67 percent), and “Attention from leaders” (62 percent).
Praise and acclamation go a long way in making employees feel distinguished and appreciated. And the influence of a pat on the back is increased when it’s done visibly. Through public acclamations, employees not only feel the support and reverence of their manager, but the entire organization as well (including top-level executives). Creating a outline for “social recognition” will inspire a culture of appreciation throughout your firm.
Keeping your rockstar employees on board has always been imperative, and don’t think that economic uncertainty will keep your employees around. Your company has worked hard to recruit some bright people and great talent; make sure an uncertain and un-motivating or under-motivating work environment doesn’t drive them into the arms of your competition.