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Manage your star performers for future success

Published on Saturday, 12 Mar 2016

Talent-retention strategies geared towards high performers remain a challenge in the world of investment banking, but as a leader this is something you should manage with care.

When top performers and lead executives leave a company, the rationale is usually more complex than low compensation, a poor set of benefits or a lack of status on offer. Eventually, many high performers move on, but, as a leader, you are in control of the size and duration of their wake.

Don’t reward performance with favouritism; the rules apply to everyone. Maintaining a corporate culture built on fairness, equality and trust will develop all employees and aid company performance in the long run.

Remember, high performers require engagement. Leaders tend to spend their energy on underperforming employees and let high performers run on autopilot. Everyone performs best when engaged in company strategy, training and mentoring – and that applies to high performers too. Even overachievers need attention, appreciation and regular formal performance reviews. Let them run on autopilot for too long and you risk alienating them from the company culture and vision.

Focus on your future, not your targets. Superstars have an impact in the short term; that’s why every firm wants one. Building a team around a superstar can yield immediate results, but is a dangerous strategy. Leaders should be rewarded for developing potential talent, as succession planning is equally important to immediate performance when it comes to return on investment. Plus, when a superstar emerges from within, they are usually more loyal and play by the rules they are accustomed to.

This article appeared in the Classified Post print edition as Reach for the stars.

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