Are High Performers Leaving? How Does That Reflect on Your Managers?


It’s important to track the resignation and retention rate for your highest performers. If you are losing staff, take time to analyze who is leaving and why. If it’s lesser performers you are losing, they may be disgruntled or be unwilling to put in the effort it takes to get ahead. But if you’re losing your best people, it may be due to lack of opportunity, a better job that’s come along or, as is often the case, a problem with your managers.

Do your managers know how to handle high performers?

High performers must be challenged and appreciated. They must see there is an opportunity to rise through the ranks and their extraordinary efforts are recognized. It doesn’t always come down to compensation, although that should be benchmarked as well. Just as frequently, high performers resent being treated as just another member of the staff, or worse, seen as not knowing their place. This is a recipe for losing your best people.

Losing your top performers can damage your bottom line. It takes time to find, hire and train a replacement. Even the best replacement will take some time to ramp up to the level of their predecessor. Some of your regular customers might be regulars because of the service your high performer provided.

Train your managers on recognizing when an employee has one foot out the door. It may be harder to recognize a “short-timer’s attitude” in a high performer because they will continue at peak performance until the day they leave.

How managers can help prevent attrition among your best people.

Conduct regular check-in conversations. See how the employee is feeling about their job and whether they are satisfied or seem to be putting out feelers for new opportunities.

Take a look at the work environment. What is going on within the organization that might lead someone to quit? Are tips down, negatively impacting pay? Has there been a change in management that changed working conditions? Have their shifts changed and not in a desirable way?

Assess which jobs are typically high turnover. Do you have high performers in those positions? Consider whether you can move them laterally or up the ladder to more stable positions in order to retain them.

Anticipate typical tenure in a position. Know when an employee is likely to get frustrated and stagnate and try to take steps to address those potential concerns before it’s too late.

Pay attention to when close colleagues leave. If good workers leave a company, they will often take their friends (usually other high performers) with them. This means losing many, not just one top performer if you can’t make it more attractive to stay.

Determine if the employee has topped out. Is there no place for them to go? If there is no way to advance within your company, they may have no choice but to leave. Your best course of action may be to wish them well and ask for referrals to replace them. High performers tend to hang out with other high performers and are likely to know a good replacement.

How can you hire and retain top employees?

It often comes down to the managers you put in place. If you’re searching for top talent for your restaurant or hotel, contact the hospitality recruiters at Horizon Hospitality.



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