Your company depends on having the very best employees. Finding great people to join your company is one thing but keeping them invested in the success of your business is another. In this article, CEO and Founder of Inner Matrix Systems, Joey Klein, outlines seven ways an entrepreneur can help high-achieving employees be even more successful.
1. Make the Workplace Psychologically Safe
Professor Amy Edmondson told Harvard Business School, “A psychologically safe workplace is one where people are not full of fear, and not trying to cover their tracks to avoid being embarrassed or punished.” She advocates for candor, being open, and maybe even direct to a fault.
Feeling psychologically safe instills a sense of freedom to truthfully acknowledge what we know and what we don’t, what we are good at, and what we need to learn to do better.
2. Encourage Employees to Clarify What They Want
Entrepreneurs should help their people formulate long-term plans and strategies. Help them identify where they want to go, what they want to do, and the results they want to achieve not just inside their job but also in life. Whether it’s a role they want, an amount of money, or a capacity they would like to build in themselves (like influence or compassion), by naming what they want, they can create a plan to achieve it.
Once they have this list, invite employees to connect with what they believe hitting these marks will mean for them. Maybe they want a sense of safety or accomplishment, or they want to provide for their family in a certain way. Helping them understand how hitting specific marks will translate to what they want in their lives allows them to bring passion to their everyday work and tasks.
By encouraging them to live in a way that is aligned with their personal goals and objectives, they will achieve more inside and outside of their professional career.
3. Build a Culture of Trust
Creating a high-trust organization may be the single most important thing an entrepreneur can do to get their employees to engage at a meaningful level. Writing for Harvard Business Review, Dan Saelinger points out, “Employees in high-trust organizations are more productive, have more energy at work, collaborate better with their colleagues, and stay with their employers longer than people working at low-trust companies.”
4. Solicit Employee Buy-In
High achievers, more so than other employees, need to understand why — about nearly everything. That’s part of what makes them successful. These individuals respond well to transparency. If an entrepreneur needs to implement changes — and inevitably they will — explain the need for the changes and the hoped-for outcomes with your key personnel. Get them to buy into the strategy.
5. Properly Align Reward and Recognition
Many modern companies have learned that reward and recognition programs pay off. Circle back to the map that employees developed to achieve the marks they have named for themselves within the company and recognize a job well done, improvements made and steps toward their goals. More substantial rewards such as vacation trips and bonuses can propel employee achievements to unimaginable levels.
6. Ensure Employee Skills Align with Responsibilities
In a small company, many employees must wear multiple hats. This necessity can open the door to frustration and chaos if an employee’s skills are not aligned with their responsibilities.
A remarkable marketing manager may not have the skills needed to run the PR department. If you need her to do so, provide the required training. If you don’t, her failure at one responsibility will carry over and affect all other duties.
7. Model Desired Behavior
Every entrepreneur has heard the idiom “practice what you preach” a million times. This principle is never more critical than when cultivating high achiever employees. Their keen sense of fairness will inevitably chaff at an employer that says one thing but does another.
If you want your high-performance personnel to give up personal time for the company when needed, make sure they see you doing just that more often than they are asked to do so.
High achieving employees can make your company a success, but they also want to be successful. Take their success seriously, guide them to reach their full potential, give them the latitude necessary to find fulfillment in their lives. The results will manifest themselves in dedicated high caliber employees.
About Inner Matrix Systems
Inner Matrix Systems, based in Denver, is a personal mastery training system for high achievers. For more than twenty years, IMS has delivered a proprietary methodology that rewires, trains, and aligns the nervous system, emotions, and thought strategies to create real-life results. CEO, Joey Klein, and IMS have worked with more than 80,000 individuals from around the world through both live and online training programs, as well as one-on-one coaching. Clients have included: Boeing, IBM, Dell, Google, Panda Express, Coca Cola and The World Health Organization. Joey is the author of The Inner Matrix: Leveraging the Art & Science of Personal Mastery to Create Real Life Results (June 2021).