Motivating Great Employees
By Bruce Tulgan
The truth about talent management and employee motivation that everybody knows is “everybody is different,” but the truth nobody likes to acknowledge is “some employees are much more valuable than others.” One talented high-performing employee is worth more than four or five mediocre employees. Here’s the problem: Those talented, high-performing employees know it, too, and most are determined to use their value to earn more of what they need and want. That means that whatever managers are doing to be flexible and generous to motivate and retain good employees, they need to be that much more flexible and generous to motivate and retain the great ones.
Teach managers at all levels to regularly consider the following questions and answers:
- What are you paying your good employees? How can you pay the great ones more? Consider giving them more in base pay and benefits. Provide more bonus money contingent on clear performance benchmarks tied directly to concrete actions they can control.
- What kind of scheduling flexibility are you providing for your good employees? Give your great ones the best schedules, and give them more control over when they work.
- How are your good employees assigned to work with vendors, customers, coworkers, subordinates, and managers? Give your great employees first choice in relationship opportunities at work.
- How are tasks and responsibilities assigned to good employees? Give your great employees first choice on any special projects or plum assignments.
- What training opportunities are being made available to good employees? Offer the best training resources to the best people first.
- How are good employees assigned to work locations or work spaces? What about travel? Give the best people the first choice of location, work space, and travel.