Retaining High-Performers During COVID-19 - Amber Hurdle | Globally Recognized Leadership & Personal Branding Expert

Retaining High-Performers During COVID-19

May 04, 2020

There is no doubt the way you are doing business looks different right now. You’ve had to respond to the effects of COVID-19, shifting your strategy because of its hit to the economy and changing your day-to-day operations due to physical distancing regulations. It’s been tough and I applaud you for your persistence during these trying times. 

Alongside changes operationally, you may have seen changes to your team because of lay-offs in addition to employees changing their schedules to meet the demands of their home as children are out of school and sick family members need caretaking. 

The way you’re responding to this global pandemic by supporting your team and maintaining steady leadership will determine the strength of your team after COVID-19. Retaining your top performers is of utmost importance at this time.

Recent research by The Predictive Index found that last year 47% of high-performers left the companies they worked for. That’s without the additional stressors and unknowns of a global pandemic. 

While it is always hard for business to recover from the loss of a high-performer, this is especially true after a time of crisis when the business may already be in deficit. High-performer turnover is always an issue of extreme cost within the business. These employees are likely leaders on their team, are headed to your competition when they leave (and taking others with them), and let’s face it–the new hire always takes time to grow to the level the high-performer was functioning at before their departure.

What should you do now to make sure you are retaining your high-performers during these challenging times? Here are some suggestions.

  • Give employees feedback. High-performers want to know how they are doing. Give positive and constructive feedback regularly. If your team is working remotely it is absolutely necessary to continue to check-in and let each employee know how they are doing. Without the day-to-day face time in the office, it can become easy to miss these important conversations.
  • Provide on-the-job professional development, even if working from home. High-performers want to continue to learn and grow in their work. Provide opportunities for employees to do this on the clock. It shows you value their career and development and want to see them succeed. It also allows them to learn new skills and trends they can contribute to the business. Do not expect your team to do this off the clock! 
  • Make your expectations clear. As Brene Brown says, “clear is kind.” Don’t leave your employees guessing what you want from them. Put an extra emphasis on this if you are working remotely. Expectations can easily be lost over technology if they are not explicitly stated. Make what you need clear and your employees will be grateful you did.
  • Become self-aware. Employees like to work for leadership that is self-aware. These leaders are “communicative, respectful, transparent, fair, compassionate, inspiring, and supportive.” High-performers want to learn from these leaders and they want to work alongside them. Great leaders attract and retain top talent. Make YOUR personal and professional development as a leader a priority. 

Retaining high-performers is always of value, but this is especially true after a period of crisis. While putting out the fires in your business due to COVID-19, make sure retaining high-performers doesn’t fall to the wayside.

How do you retain and develop high-performers in your business? Tell us in the comments.

About Abby

Abby Siegel Hyman is the Marketing + PR Manager at Amber Hurdle Consulting, and is a dual master’s graduate student at Vanderbilt University. She is the proud mom of the goldendoodle Willie–one of the office dog cheerleaders that keeps AHC innovative and engaged. Connect with Abby on LinkedIn

Amber Hurdle Consulting is a multi-award-winning talent optimization firm that pioneers using both science and marketing principles to solve these problems by strengthening your brand from the inside out. As a Predictive Index (PI) Certified Partner, we teach you how to generate and use real data in the form of people analytics, and then we sit on your bench as analytics experts, bringing along almost 20 years of branding, marketing and public relations experience. With these tools, we partner with you to design a compelling internal relations strategy featuring three key areas:

#1 We work with your leaders on their personal brands, so they increase self awareness and see and harvest the greatness in others. 

#2 We teach you to use a scientific, repeatable method to recruit, retain and inspire top talent, elevating your culture while crafting a world-class employer brand. 

#3 We then help you leverage strong leaders and a “best places to work” environment so that happy employees are serving happy customers…ultimately elevating your business brand.


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