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How To Keep Your Top Performers

According to Talent Management magazine, April 2010 “Preventing Exit Interviews” (, here are the most common reasons people stay with their employers . 91% of the respondents surveyed listed at least one of the first two items among the top reasons they stay:

1. Exciting work and challenge

2. Career growth, learning and development

3. Working with great people

4. Fair pay

5. Supportive management or a good boss

6. Being recognized, valued and respected

7. Benefits

8. Meaningful work and making a difference

9. Pride in the organization, its mission and its product

10. Great work environment and culture

As I often do, I tested that thinking with my own experience. Just why did I leave my last job? Was the work exciting and challenging? Exciting yes, but not challenging anymore. Was there growth for me, could I learn and develop? Yes, but it was very hard to navigate through the huge organization to know just where I could look for new opportunity. 

I am sure it was there if I really pushed, but we were going through reorganization after reorganization, and career growth and development seemed to be low on the priorities list year after year. Next, I looked at the “working with great people” and I realized that is why I stayed as long as I did. The people at HP were bright, innovative, practiced the “HP way” and set the bar very high from which I would judge other potential employers.

So, it was true for me that without challenge and career growth, development and learning, I became disengaged and left.

If you lead people, or work in Talent Management, ask yourself how many of your top performers are retention risks because they are not getting what is on the Top 10 list.

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