Attract, Develop, and Retain “A” Players


Even great companies can make poor hiring decisions. In the effort to fill critical voids as quickly as possible, some leaders make the mistake of hiring the first person they find, instead of searching for the best talent and the best fit. Unfortunately, hiring mistakes are not cheap. A 2012 study from DePaul University Center for Sales Leadership found the average price tag when a sales rep turns over is around $115,000. You may not have sales reps, but we can all agree that replacing your hires—and the additional cost of lost labor and missed goals that come along with it—can be very expensive and stressful. That’s why it’s critical to learn how to effectively attract, develop, and retain “A” players for your team.

Here are a few pointers:

Make sure your hire is ready to be held accountable.
Not all people like the idea of accountability, or the detail-oriented mindset it requires. They don’t like setting concrete, attainable goals, or tracking and measuring performance. They aren’t interested in developing professionally (or personally) to get better and better results, or in offering consistent transparency. If your job candidates aren’t ok with such things, consider your options! You don’t necessarily have to write off a good candidate for these reasons, but you do have to establish respect and a willingness to aspire to these goals. If you’ve got a real shining star in the candidate pool but that person seems resistant to accountability, dig deeper and ask what working relationships they’ve had, and how those teams functioned. Take the time to learn more. Most people aren’t afraid to be accountable, they’re just concerned that an individual system must be solid and impartial.

Invest in your people.
Over the years, it’s been amazing how often our clients have told us that the greatest reward of their careers was the pride they felt in developing their people. Not only is mentoring a smart move from the point of empowering others to succeed and thrive, it’s also savvy from an employee retention standpoint. People want to work in places where they are treated with respect, encouraged to grow and learn new things, and empowered to be creative and pro-active within their jobs. Creating and retaining “A” players can depends upon your company’s personal development opportunities. Consider creating a dedicated management system to encourage and cultivate your employees’ skills and talents. That will go a long way toward fostering a culture that inspires personal achievement and professional fulfillment.

Motivate, then reward.
People are different. They’re naturally going to be motivated by different things and for different reasons—both tangible and intangible. One person might feel most motivated when things are “fun.” Another might feel more inspired to perform when there’s a sense of safety or job security (e.g., more financial compensation) attached. It’s part of your job as a leader to find out what motivates your people. What would make them excited to get up out of bed, come in to work, and perform well at their jobs? It may not be easy to get your finger on the pulse of each and every person, but the more you understand your team, the better they can help you achieve your goals.

What are some great ways to reward entire teams—not just individuals—in your experience

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