3 Ways to Reward and Engage Your Best Talent

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157006973Talented employees are the leaders behind successful companies. To tap into your best employees and optimize their skill sets, employers need to strive for employee engagement consistently. When your top talent loses engagement or feels that their work is undervalued, they begin to seek out other opportunities. Here are three things you can do to engage your best talent and keep them happy as they move the company forward.

Keep things personal

Remind your talented employees of the culture that prompted them to accept the job in the first place by maintaining a healthy work relationship with regular communication. Employees that feel out of the loop or overlooked are more likely to become disengaged. Check in with trusted and valued employees once a week by grabbing coffee or lunch. Be sure to ask them about their ongoing priorities, problems, and any roadblocks. Setting up one-on-one time in a casual setting is the best way to build more trust and also receive candid feedback. Stay one step ahead by consistently striving to understand your top employees’ concerns and needs. People are naturally more engaged when they are given the opportunity to provide feedback. Other ways to communicate transparently with employees are satisfaction surveys or anonymous submissions for improvement.

Leave room for autonomy

A healthy check-in schedule is important, but also leave enough space for your employees to feel independent and autonomous. Being hands-off is a managerial trait that is especially appreciated by the Millennial generation, but most employees respond positively when they feel trusted and are given ownership over their own projects. Employees who feel they have a sense of ownership – that the project they are leading is truly their own, and they are free to build it out as they see fit. Ensuring that this type of culture exists encourages employees to work harder but also enjoy their work more.

Offer internal opportunities

Fostering growth is essential. Employees respond well to goals or checkpoints throughout their job or career. Ensure that your best talent is retained by providing rewards for exceeding or meeting goals. Help your employees set up their own systems for rewards, promotions, and other goal-setting. Doing so establishes a sense of transparency, trust, and opportunity moving forward. When employees feel they can no longer grow within an organization, they naturally begin considering other opportunities where there may be more growth opportunity. Reward your hardest workers and most impactful employees so that new hires and other employees understand that the culture of their workplace is one that rewards and reinforces important contributions.

Engaged employees demonstrate a stronger performance and contribute to a positive work environment. Moreover, key employees who understand the culture and vision of the company and who exhibit talent and strategic thinking are hard to come by – and often, they are the most difficult to retain. Paying attention to your relationships with these employees, the way the culture of the company is expressed, and ensuring that exciting opportunities exist for those who earn them are all critical in fostering a strong team.

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About Claire Topalian

Claire Topalian is a writer, non-profit Communications professional, and advocate for diversity in business. She currently leads Communications and the Startup Women initiative at UP Global, an international non-profit that builds startup communities through educational programs and events. You can follow her on Twitter @clairetopalian.

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