A rockstar performer is 4x more productive than an average employee. In a startup or a small business, having rockstars in your corner means the difference between massive growth or abysmal failure.
You’ll be able to hire several A-players if your company has great growth potential and a powerful vision. But hang on! Retaining these folks is an entirely different ball game.
Here are four ways to keep a rockstar team happy.
1. Hire More Rockstars
Rockstars know that success is a team sport. The only way they can achieve massive growth is by being part of a team of Rockstars. Working with average people kills momentum and demotivates stellar performers. Hire only rockstars if you want to keep your team happy.
The most successful companies pay acknowledge this fact. “We believe working alongside amazing peers to realize your own personal mission is the most powerful retention strategy,” says Kathleen Hogan, Chief People Officer at Microsoft.
To make sure that bad hires don’t slip through the cracks of your hiring process, get your teams involved. Whoever has to work closely with a new hire should sit in during interviews. This might seem like a waste of time, but would you rather have a bad hire slowing down your team? Besides, this isn’t too hard, when you have less than 100 employees.
Don’t just go by an impressive CV. If someone can’t get along with your team, they won’t be able to perform, no matter how brilliant they are. Ask interviewees questions that gauge EQ (Emotional quotient), such as how they have handled a conflict in the past. And give you top performers veto rights in the hiring process. Trust them to recognize a bad fit.
2. Pay Attention
Rockstars always have several opinions and ideas and will be eager to voice them.
Sure, you might not always agree with them, but if you just listen, you demonstrate that you value them. This also has a cyclical effect. A study by John Izzo, author of the new book, “Stepping Up: How Taking Responsibility Changes Everything”, indicates that the more you listen, the more initiative your people will take.
Moreover, your team will often have a better understanding of certain problems than you, and you should try implementing their suggestions. If you think something won’t work, explain why. Your feedback will help them come up with better ideas in future.
Value their inputs and they will stay with you much longer. Don’t, and they will start looking for other companies that will listen to them.
3. Don’t Waste their Time
Rockstars want to get things done, period. The last thing they want is to waste their time on activities which contribute little to their goals. They hate attending meetings when just a one-page summary of the discussion would have sufficed.
Use a tool like ClickUp to easily manage your projects and internal communication. Rockstars will be delighted if you can free them from the overwhelming and confusing deluge of email that accompanies most projects.
Give them the option to work remotely. They would rather put in a couple of extra hours working than spend it in navigating traffic.
Keep figuring out ways to save them time. They’ll love you for it!
4. Show them the Growth
According to an Indeed survey, 33% of employers believe that ‘drive’ is the most common attribute of top performers. Rockstars are highly ambitious and want to grow fast! To be at their productive best, they know that they need accurate feedback about what’s working and what’s not.
Don’t beat around the bush when handing out negative feedback. Tell them what they need to hear – right away, or in your weekly scrum stand-up. Just don’t wait until the quarterly review! They will hate you for not telling them sooner, and for slowing down their productivity.
Moreover, rockstars want visibility into what’s in it for them. Give them a clear picture of what growth they can expect in terms of responsibilities, titles or financial rewards, and what they need to achieve to earn those rewards.
The less ambiguous their path, the harder they will work and the more motivated they will be to stick around. And of course, when the time comes, make sure you actually deliver on your promises.
Your Success Depends on It.
Your rockstars won’t tell you that they are unhappy, they will just start looking for other opportunities. You must be proactive to keep them satisfied. Your company’s success will depend on it. Doing these four things will go a long way in keeping your rockstars productively committed.