Two things normally come up in our 'managing performance for overnight results' workshops: 1) How to turn around underperformers and 2) How to keep the 'A' people in organisations. So here's a two-part magic trick we find works really well with the latter:
Firstly, ask your amazing people to think about what they would put under the heading 'Achievements' on their CVs a year from now. These are the great results that they are so proud of that they make it to this key document that sells them. You'll find that most people struggle to come up with achievements: They will tell you about the activities that they have been involved in and their responsibilities; they will use words like 'managed X', 'rolled-out Y', 'accountable for delivery of Z' etc but this is all a bit subjective, buzz-wordy, cliche and not particularly memorable or powerful! The achievements exercise helps people zero in on just what are they proud of and, if its not up to much, what they would like to be proud of which can help focus what they do in the next twelve months. This will sometimes be the more meaningful, sexy and interesting stuff that keeps them motivated, deviates from the day-to-day monotony or routines and therefore keeps them around for longer.
Secondly, talk to your amazing person about the next job title/role they aspire to have, the next rung up the ladder. Ask them to type in that job title into online job-boards and to identify three corresponding vacancies. This will help them to identify their gaps, where they lack skill and experience which again focuses them on what they can do more or less of in the next twelve months. It may be, for example, that they attend a couple of seminars or events around XYZ and then come back and put some of it into practice for the experience. Conversely, they may be taking on some of your responsibilities that have previously been marked as 'higher level'. Its effectively a mini version of the 'Google 20% thing' where a percentage of my time is spent on what I want to do more of and how it in turn can benefit the organisation. This may even make their career path a bit 'squiggly' and you may end up 'respraying' their current tole to involve more of the bits they now want to focus on and take responsibility for. It may even mean a different title!
When people leave they can't always guarantee that the grass will be greener elsewhere! If you are keeping people interested, motivated and continuously building the CV then you're likely to keep them just that little bit longer than may otherwise be the case. What have you got to lose?