The tech industry is full of “rockstars” – the engineers, developers, and cloud architects who get things done. These high-performing individuals are often the backbone of a company’s success, so it’s crucial to keep them motivated and engaged. And for organizations that heavily rely on their top performers, there’s a huge risk when these stars decide to move on.
The best way to avoid disruption from losing your rockstars?
Start investing in your team before those top players even think about leaving. That means providing support and training for existing team members so that if one of them does leave, someone else can step into their shoes quickly and easily — and so the rest of the team can reach their full potential, too.
Let’s dive into how you can ensure a vacated position doesn’t leave your teams in disarray.
Why it’s important
Your highest-performing individuals bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table, and their contributions are invaluable to the company’s success. In some cases, they’re up to 400% more productive than their peers. They also serve as role models for the rest of the team, and their positive attitudes and high levels of motivation can help create a more productive and enjoyable work environment.
When top performers are unhappy, it can lead to decreased motivation, decreased productivity, and even high turnover rates.
So, how can managers keep their top performers happy while also training the rest of the team?
The key is to provide a growth plan that includes both training and development opportunities, as well as recognition and rewards for top performers. Here are some strategies to keep in mind:
Provide learning opportunities
IT, tech, cloud, and engineering professionals are constantly learning and growing in their careers, and it’s important to provide them with opportunities to continue their education.
Offer training programs, workshops, and certification courses that allow them to stay up-to-date with the latest technologies and developments in their field. This will not only help them grow professionally, but it’ll also show them that the company values their development and is committed to their success.
But it’s also important to provide training and support to the rest of the team to prevent a management disruption. Some tips:
- Provide clear expectations and goals: Setting clear expectations and goals is key to the success of any team. Make sure each team member understands what’s expected of them and what goals they’re working toward. This will help them feel more confident in their roles and also help ensure that everyone is working towards the same objectives.
- Offer continuous training and support: Providing continuous training and support is critical for the success of any team. Do this through regular check-ins, training sessions, and performance evaluations. This helps ensure that everyone is on the same page and that everyone is able to reach their full potential.
- Encourage collaboration and teamwork: Collaboration and teamwork are pillars of a successful team. Encourage your team members to work together, share ideas, and support each other to build a stronger sense of togetherness.
What does training your A-Team look like?
This will vary depending on your team members’ areas and levels of expertise. But, for example, if you’re developing an A-Team of AWS Cloud Architects from novice levels, a training journey may look like this:
- Learning the fundamentals of how to build infrastructure in the cloud.
- Exploring the AWS services necessary to build effective cloud solutions (like storage, networking, and databases).
- Building on existing knowledge of AWS to enhance functionality and security.
- Nailing down encryption, cost optimization, data analytics, and deployment automation.
(Psst! Want to make things easier on yourself? Check out our Job Role paths: Cloud Architect, Data Engineer, DevOps Engineer, Machine Learning Engineer, and Software Engineer.)
Offer recognition and rewards
Acknowledging an employee’s hard work can go a long way in keeping them engaged and motivated, and high-performing individuals should be recognized and rewarded for their efforts.
You can do this through performance bonuses, promotions, and public recognition in company meetings or newsletters. This will not only make them feel valued and appreciated, but it will also encourage others to strive for similar levels of success.
Plus, studies have found that these types of recognition can boost morale, increase motivation, and reduce turnover. Providing recognition is one of the best ways to create a culture that encourages retention and reduces disruptions when staff members leave the team.
Foster a supportive work environment
A supportive work environment is crucial for employee happiness and motivation.
Encourage open communication and collaboration between team members, and provide opportunities for individuals to share their ideas and experiences. This will help build a sense of camaraderie and teamwork, and it’ll also create a more enjoyable and fulfilling work experience for everyone.
Encourage growth and development
Providing opportunities for growth and development is vital for keeping top performers — and the rest of the team — happy.
Offer challenging assignments, encourage them to take on leadership roles, and provide opportunities for professional advancement. This will help them feel fulfilled in their careers and will keep them motivated to continue their contributions to the company.
Then, queue up training opportunities for other team members so they’re prepared to jump in and assume the role if one of your rockstars leaves.
Investing in all of your employees’ professional development shows that you value their growth as individuals, which can go a long way toward building loyalty among your team members. Baking a growth plan into your team management strategy will empower everyone on the team to gain new skills and stay up-to-date on industry trends — even if they’re not filling the position of a departing rockstar.
A final look
Ultimately, creating an environment where people feel supported, appreciated and successful is key for reducing turnover rates among high performers, particularly those who are considered “rockstars” within their field.
By investing in your team now through learning opportunities, recognition, continued support, and encouraging growth and development, you can prevent major disruptions on projects or within departments if someone does decide to leave.
Retaining your rockstars is all about making sure they know how valued they are while also preparing other team members with skill sets that may be needed down the road — and it’s a win-win situation.