Do your leaders have the people management skills required to retain top performers?

People management skills

Attracting, retaining and developing top performers is still the number one challenge facing most companies today.

While many have begun to improve their recruitment processes, invest in creating inclusive cultures, and allow greater flexibility, few have really invested in improving the people management skills of top and middle managers.

This is a pity because, as Marcus Buckingham says, “People leave managers, not companies”.

People don’t leave bad companies, they leave bad managers.

– Marcus Buckingham

We already know that high-performing employees won’t stay just for the paycheck. They’re the ones who really value things like learning, recognition, and the sense of belonging to something bigger than themselves.

Here are five people management skills your leaders need to develop:

1. Understand what really motivates people

Time and again, researchers have found that people with high intrinsic motivation (i.e. they are driven by internal rewards and satisfaction) perform much better than people offered high extrinsic motivation (i.e. external rewards).

Pink argues that if companies can help their employees find intrinsic motivation then they will have a more sustainable motivation to work hard and succeed, which means they will be more productive, add more value to the business, and be less likely to resign.

Learn about the 3 things that motivate employees more than money

2. Communicate clearly

When managers communicate in a clear way that inspires trust, employees are more open to committing to their organization.

Effective leaders rely on their ability to communicate clearly as they understand how critical the right message is to the success of their organization. And when they do so effectively, they are able to give staff the opportunity to do their best work.

Learn about other leadership skills to help retain high performers

3. Help employees take control of their career plans

A number of studies have found that the top reason people leave their jobs is a lack of opportunity for advancement. People want career growth. And when they don’t get it, they leave. So, if your managers don’t have career development plans for everyone in their teams – you’re playing with fire.

Find out how to help employees create career development plans

4. Create a culture of continuous learning

Employee training is a powerful weapon in the fight against attrition, but it also creates an opportunity for competitive advantage. For example, you can improve technical skills, customer service skills, communication &collaboration skills, and creative thinking & problem-solving skills. Podcasts are another way for teams and their employees to learn and grow.

Learn how to develop an employee training program

5. Conduct effective performance reviews

When done right, performance appraisals are tools to help employees enhance their performance and contributions to organizational goals. They become detailed, data-backed and highly effective instruments that leaders can wield to retain top-performers and create high-performing teams.

Here’s how to conduct effective performance reviews

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