If you are a small business owner in a tough economy, keeping your good employees will not only be the key to your ability to survive the downturn, it will also be a challenge as you may not be in a position to provide the compensation incentives that top performers look for in their careers. Hence, a February 2010 post by Marshall Goldsmith on the Harvard Business Review blog is well worth reading as he gave the following six tips for keeping your high-impact performers during a downturn so that they become your future leaders when business picks up again:
- Show Respect: Treating employees with kindness and respect will go much further than leading them through intimidation and fear.
- Focus on a Thriving Environment: It takes more than gimmicks to keep high performers happy. Instead, create an environment where employees are learning, getting training and developing their skills as such an environment will allow each individual, especially high performers, to thrive.
- Offer On-Going Training: Training and education will ensure that employees can both do their jobs properly and improve your existing systems. Moreover, having employees who are cross-trained is a great competitive advantage if you are required to reduce your headcount during a downturn.
- Provide Coaching: Working one-on-one with employees in a coaching relationship is also a great way to discover and tap their talents to benefit the whole organization.
- Give Feedback: Providing feedback should be turned into a continual process rather than an annual or semi-annual performance measure.
- Money and Decision-Making: Compensation is important but it’s usually not enough as employees also want to be involved in the decision making process. After all, achieving buy-in from employees will not only help you to retain top talent, it’s also a great way to generate ideas to improve the organization.
In other words, if you want to retain your best employees even during a tough economy, be sure to make an effort to develop their skills and to create a work environment they like.