In today’s business environment, the overriding mantra is often, “Do more with less!”  This pertains to resources, materials, and even employees. Unfortunately, it’s human nature to not pay enough attention to your best employees and top performers. Why is that?

Your top performers are self-motivated go-getters who need no prompting or anybody looking over their shoulder.

This gives managers more flexibility and more freedom to tackle other issues. However, while it makes sense to leave top performers be and let them do their jobs, that philosophy can be harmful if taken too far. Employee satisfaction is a very important part of your job as a manager. It can make or break your team and could lead to you losing or keeping your best employees!

Here’s a reality check: If superstar employees don’t believe that they’re growing in their current position and working toward something bigger and better, then they’re going to think about leaving.  That’s why you absolutely need to know what their professional needs and career goals are.

This may sound a bit simplistic, but the best way to do this is by asking them.  You shouldn’t subject them to an intensive, intimidating interrogation, though.  Instead, fully engage them and make them feel comfortable enough to broach topics they might not bring up themselves. In other words, give them the attention they crave and ask the questions that will ultimately help to retain them as employees:

  • Ask what their expectations are for their employment with the company. This type of open-ended question may prompt a response you didn’t expect, but that’s information you need to know.
  • Ask what their career goals and objectives are.
  • Ask what the company can do to help them accomplish their goals.

Based upon their answers, formulate a game plan for achieving their objectives while still working for your company.  Also plan to meet on a consistent basis going forward to gauge their progress and set additional goals. Star employees think about their career ambitions all the time.  It’s in their nature.  So if that’s the case, it makes sense to give the proper amount of attention to their plans for the future.

If you don’t, then you increase the chances that your company won’t be involved in those plans.