How to Effectively Attract, Develop and Retain “A” Players

effectively attract develop and retain a playersMany companies make hiring decisions this time of the year. But in the effort to fill critical voids as quickly as possible, some leaders make the mistake of hiring just anyone instead of the “right one.” Problem is, hiring mistakes are not cheap. For example, a 2012 study from DePaul University Center for Sales Leadership found the average price tag for the turnover of a sales rep hovers around $115,000. You may not have sales reps in your business, but, in general, replacing your hires—and all the fallout costs 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 ok with being held accountable. This is important because not all people like the idea of accountability and what that entails, everything from setting goals to tracking and measuring performance, developing professionally (and personally) to get results, taking corrective action, consistent transparency and much more. If your job candidates aren’t ok with such things, they may not be for you. But don’t necessarily write them all off. For example, if you’ve got a real shining star among the candidate pool but that person seems resistant to accountability, you may need to dig deeper to learn more. In working with MAP’s clients over the years, we’ve found most people actually appreciate being held accountable if the system for it is solid and works.

Invest in your people. Over the years, it’s been amazing how often MAP clients have told us that their greatest reward in their leadership careers was developing their people. And not only is this activity smart from the point of empowering others to succeed and thrive, but it’s also savvy from an employee retention standpoint. People want to work in places where they are treated with respect and honored for their ability to grow and become better, professionally and even personally. Creating and retaining those “A” players depends upon how well you give your people self-development opportunities. In fact, you should have a dedicated management system for cultivating the potential of your employees’ skills and talents, fostering a culture that inspires personal achievement and professional fulfillment.

Motivate, then reward. People are different. So they’re naturally going to be motivated by different things and for different reasons—both tangible and intangible factors. 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 to it. It’s part of your job as the leader to find out what gets people up out of bed, excited about coming to work, and performing well at their jobs. No doubt, it may not be easy to get your finger on the pulse of each and every person who works for you. But try. There are many resources that can help you get a better sense for what motivated people to perform and get results.

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


​ The Disciplined Leader

What do the best leaders have in common? The answer is one word: Discipline. A disciplined leader is one who identifies and focuses on the Vital Few: the 20% of activities that will drive 80% of the results. Learn More

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