How do they do it?

Did you ever work for someone who makes you feel valued? Who makes you feel special? With The Great Resignation in full swing, companies are losing talent left and right. Monday’s WSJ talked about tech companies moving to cash bonuses instead of stock options. Of course, that makes sense, cash is immediate but is cash the only thing that will entice a good employee to stay? There is a real lack of talent in many industries. How do you keep your employees from answering those constant calls from recruiters? How do you get them to stay?

One of my clients is struggling with this and came to the conclusion that yes, money matters. Make sure that your team members (and you too) are being compensated at market levels. It is important to note that there are many other ways to get your employees to remain on the job and highly motivated. First, we talked about really understanding each of his DRs (direct reports) and what motivates them. People are different. And if you don’t know what motivates them, you have to figure it out.


Doing nothing is very hard to do… you never know when you’re finished.

Leslie Nielsen

Worth the Share

We all know that retaining top talent is a challenge for many organizations. This article from the new issue of HBR talks about the importance of making the superstars on your team feel special. It is not always about money.

In any company, unique talent can “create outcomes that wouldn’t be possible if they disappeared. You can’t pigeonhole them into a category and expect to keep them happy.”

Here are three things from the article that you should never do to your superstar performers:

  • Never dismiss their ideas: it is critical that they have a seat at the table, that they feel heard
  • Never block their development: stall their career trajectory at your own peril, keep them challenged and growing
  • Never pass up a chance to praise them: make sure it is specific and intentional praise, not generic. Make them feel special

Read The Real Secret of Retaining Talent: The subtle art of making people feel special by Roger L. Martin for solid tips and a sad story about the football player, Aaron Rogers.


And Finally...

Back to motivation. Here is a crazy way to think about what motivates each of your team members. Do you know about the Five Love Languages? It is designed for relationships BUT four of the five languages can be viewed through the lens of what motivates your team members. Here are the five love languages and how you can use them in business:

  1. Time Spent: Take your team member to lunch or dinner for some 1:1 time, especially now that we can get out and about.

  2. Acts of Service: Do something for them to help them be more successful, maybe take something off their plate if they are buried.

  3. Gifts: Something unexpected is always fun, one of my clients uses Drizly, or send out gift cards to a favorite restaurant. The more creative the better.

  4. Words of Affirmation: See the article above, make sure you are being specific and thoughtful with your praise.

  5. Touch: Okay, this is NOT applicable to business. Don’t even think about it!

What motivates you? What is your love language?

Have a great couple of weeks,
Mary Jo

To learn more about my 1:1 executive, communication or business growth coaching, custom virtual workshops, the Career Transition program or just to connect, you can reach me at