Nov 162014

Dr. Earl R. Smith II

One of the most daunting challenges that a CEO faces is retaining high-value employees. In this highly competitive market, competitors with offers of increases in salaries and benefits are approaching your best people. Occasionally one of my clients will come to me with exactly this kind of dilemma. “How do I retain these people? How do I make them more resistant to these approaches?”

Companies that treat their employees as compensation-focused are likely to miss the opportunity to improve loyalty and resistance to the lure of greener pastures. The solution is to see them as people with hopes, aspirations and an interest in personal and professional growth. Once a company begins to see their high-value employees this way, its approach to building loyalty and stability changes. There are a number of ways that are traditionally tried. For instance, companies may offer educational support in the form of tuition assistance or seminar attendance. It may organize ‘after-hours’ activities designed to help their employees realize their fuller potential. One of the best ways to build loyalty in a high-value employee is to offer executive coaching.

An offer of executive coaching sends two messages to the employee. The first is ‘you are a valuable member of the team and we want to recognize that’. The second is ‘as valuable as you are, we believe that you can grow personally and professionally – becoming even more valuable as a team member’.

From a cost standpoint, executive coaching is generally less expensive than the alternatives. From a benefits standpoint, it is much more cost-effective. Coaching which is done within the corporate environment and with an eye towards improving a high-value employee’s ability to contribute to the company’s future is widely recognized as a way to improve both the employee and the team. By providing experienced mentors to key employees, the company is demonstrating that they view them as individuals with potential beyond that which they have realized.

© Dr. Earl R. Smith II

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