Pay, benefits, and promotions certainly matter. However, there’s something else which is key to getting and keeping the right employees.

It’s the opportunity to contribute to success as a member of a respected team working on an inspiring mission with trusted leadership which attracts and retains the right employees. I’ve seen people take less in money and material benefits to have this. I know – I’ve seen myself do it.

Conversely, if you ever see people continue to work for a chronically dysfunctional organization which shows absolutely no signs of turning around and often embarrasses itself, you can be sure of two things: they are fine with failure and they have no other career options.

High performers want to contribute more and increase their impact.  As Captain Abrashoff explains, “Give them all the responsibility they can handle and then step back and watch them succeed.”

High achievers seek to serve and stay where we can work as a member of a trusted team.

We want to serve in a positive and healthy culture governed by trust, civility, respect, support, professionalism, integrity, and a commitment to excellence.

The relationship between employees and their supervisors and managers is key.  Good bosses recruit and retain great employees.  Bad bosses repel and cost us good employees.  Even when talent does not want to leave the organization, we will quit a bad boss.

Talent stays when you grow it.  Learn their goals, help them advance in their desired career path, and find ways to ensure both the company and the employee wins.  Invest in their growth as professionals and leaders.  The opportunity to learn and develop is valued by high performers.

Individuals of integrity and talent want to be proud of what we do and the team on which we serve.  We want to work for organizations making positive progress.  People want to be passionate about the work they do.

We will never get or keep them unless we are who we say we are as employers.  The #1 reason talent leaves is the organization is not really who it says it was.  Ultimately, we recruit, hire, retain, and promote who we are.  Be the model employer and the leaders for whom you would want to work.  Exemplify integrity, performance, and excellence and that’s exactly who you will attract and retain.


From the Teacher: Leadership Lessons with Dr. Saviak is a weekly column with the esteemed Joseph C. Saviak, Ph.D., J.D., M.A., M.S., Management Consulting & Leadership Training.