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High-Potential Employees: Identifying And Retaining Valuable Team Members

group of high-potential employees working on computers at shared desks

Don’t let high-potential employees slip through your fingers. Identify them early on and then work to retain them so your business can thrive.

In this article, the workforce management and optimization experts at Sling provide tips to help you improve retention and keep the valuable team members your business needs to be successful.

How To Identify High-Potential Employees

high-potential employees working together in an office

1) Are They Autonomous?

Teamwork is crucial for the success of your business. But that doesn’t mean your employees have to — or should, for that matter — work together all the time.

High-potential employees will be comfortable working autonomously when necessary to reach their goals and objectives.

In addition, employees that need constant guidance and direction can actually do your business a disservice because they divert time, energy, and resources away from more important activities.

2) Are They Adaptable?

Adaptability is all about an employee’s willingness to learn new information and develop new skills.

That might mean improving aspects of their current job. Or it might mean expanding into new responsibilities. This is known as intrapersonal adaptability — an employee is receptive and able to improve the way they work through education and practice.

On the other hand, adaptability might mean being flexible to the personalities and work habits of their fellow employees. This is known as interpersonal adaptability — an employee does their best to get along with all team members and allows them to work in their own unique way.

High-potential employees exhibit a combination of both intrapersonal and interpersonal adaptability that make them a valuable part of your team.

3) Are They Persistent?

Persistence is a key quality of high-potential employees. You can learn a lot from success, but you can learn even more from failure.

When an employee continues to strive for better results after first falling short of the mark — or missing it altogether — it shows that they have a positive attitude and will continue to work even in the face of adversity.

4) Are They Self-Aware?

When an employee is self-aware, they know what their strengths and weaknesses are and can parlay this knowledge into better job performance.

For example, a marathoner trains for endurance, while a sprinter trains for speed. Asking a marathoner to run the 100-yard dash or a sprinter to run 26.2 miles isn’t the best use of their abilities.

Similarly, a self-aware employee knows where they excel and can hone their skills to be an even better addition to your team.

How To Retain High-Potential Employees

two women entrepreneurs working at a whiteboard

1) Provide High-Potential Employees The Right Benefits

Competitive pay is certainly a significant part of what drives employee retention. And you should definitely pay your top performers accordingly.

But a high pay rate isn’t the only thing that keeps employees from looking for opportunities at other companies.

Added value and incentives such as health insurance, life insurance, a 401k, and other fringe benefits can help motivate high-potential employees to stay with your business longer.

2) Give Them The Recognition They Deserve

Whenever possible, give your high-potential employees the recognition they deserve.

This recognition doesn’t have to be a public spectacle. Sometimes, the best, most meaningful validation of a job well-done is simply a word in private.

Take the time to make your high-performers feel like a valued part of your team and they’ll want to work hard for years to come to make your business a success.

3) Conduct Regular Performance Appraisals

Few people — reviewers and reviewees alike — enjoy sitting through a performance appraisal.

But when you remove the anxiety and stress from the review process, it’s easier to show employees at all levels how to improve and achieve success in your business.

Then, when they feel a sense of achievement in the work they do, they’re more likely to want to stay in that position rather than going somewhere else.

4) Encourage Teamwork

When you encourage teamwork in your business, you make it easier for your high-potential employees — and all of your employees, really — to experience intangible benefits that aren’t found anywhere else, such as:

  • Novel ideas
  • Better morale
  • Improved efficiency
  • Group cohesion
  • High-quality work
  • A sense of accomplishment
  • More opportunities to learn
  • Less managerial interference
  • Quicker innovation
  • Stronger working relationships

In fact, the strong bonds of a healthy team atmosphere can be worth more than all of your fringe benefits combined because they make the day-to-day grind more enjoyable.

High-performing employees will recognize the value of these intangibles and do their best to foster them in the coworkers. That will benefit everyone on your team and your business as a whole.

Keep High-Potential Employees With The Right Scheduling

Sling app

One of the best ways to retain high-potential employees is through scheduling.

Offering unique scheduling options acts like a fringe benefit of sorts and gives your high-potential employees more control over when, where, and how they work.

That makes your business more attractive than other businesses that operate on a strict 9-to-5 schedule and helps retain the talent you want in your business.

Examples of these unique schedule options include:

Scheduling software like Sling simplifies the process of organizing and arranging even the most complicated shifts so that you can sit down, make your schedule, and move on to more pressing matters.

All of Sling’s cloud-based features — from schedule creation to time clock to payroll calculations — make it easy for you to create the best schedule possible, distribute it with ease, make changes, and juggle time-off requests.

Sling scheduling feature

Sling even provides suggestions and warnings when you’ve double-booked a team member or created a conflict in another part of your schedule.

All of this — and much more — makes Sling the tool of choice to help you retain high-potential employees.

For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit GetSling.com today.

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