Don’t settle for a standard distribution of A-, B- and C-level performers when you can fill your ranks with rock stars—the top 5 percent of candidates, says a recent Kellogg Insight based on insights from Jeff Hyman, chief talent officer at Strong Suit Executive Search.
The talent expert believes it’s possible to have 50 percent or more of these top performers in your workforce. Here are some steps he recommends to make your workplace more attractive to the best of the best:
Keep them challenged. Stretch assignments are central to keeping rock stars engaged as well as training them for promotion. Also consider assigning a senior executive to act as a mentor. In addition to championing rock stars and seeking out new opportunities for them, mentors should be tasked with providing career coaching and acting as a sounding board for difficult situations.
Be creative with compensation. Remember that compensation comes in many forms—salary, title, new assignments, perks, bonuses, equity grants. Hyman also warns against policies that set a narrow range for annual raises, giving top performers an increase only slightly above that of underperformers. Instead, the increase should reward performance, with top performers receiving as much as a 20 percent raise while underperformers may receive nothing.
Attend to rock stars who leave. Conduct a thorough exit interview to find out if there are organizational problems that will prevent other high performers from thriving. Check in regularly with rock stars who leave. If they are not as happy in their new jobs as they expected, then open the door and invite them to return.
See the full Kellogg Insight: “How to Fill Your Company with Rockstar Employees.”