July '18

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rv-pro.com July 2018 • RV PRO • 165 perform their duties in a conscientious and dependable manner, serving as reli- able anchors for their employers. The final category consists of people who outperform the norm. "High achievers are driven go-get- ters," Avdoian says. "They are your most productive employees." These individuals can deliver up to 400 percent more productivity to a work- place than other employees, according to the Harvard Business Review report. With this short list in hand, Avdoian says employers should make sure they give their best people the specific things they need to keep them onboard. And just what do they want more than anything else? The answer is probably not surprising: The HBR report found that top-performers care significantly more than average or low-performing ones about competitive compensation. Avdoian says employers must offer them a salary commensurate with their skills and at least equal to what other employers in the region provide. Pay for Performance High performers also care more than their slacker or foundational coworkers about the ability to earn bonus pay based on performance. "The opportunity to make more money through their achievements is an incentive for your top performers to stick around," says Donna Cutting, CEO of Red Carpet Learning Systems of Asheville, N.C. Top salespeople, for example, will expect additional compensation when they outperform their peers. Cutting says the goal is to create a win-win situation for employer and worker: Fixed compensation costs remain low while employees have the chance to earn more when they excel. A pay for performance system is a far cry from old familiar reward relics of the past, such as the annual seniority-based salary hike and the automatic year-end bonus. The problem was that the conven- tional system does not incentivize better performance, according to Cutting. Moreover, high performers resented the fact they were not rewarded for their superior productivity at a rate any higher than others. Meanwhile, ongoing salary increases bloated payrolls until the busi- ness risked becoming uncompetitive. Besides its direct financial component, such pay serves to highlight the connec- tion between employee actions and orga- nizational success, according to Cutting. "It's important that people understand their overall part in the success of a busi- ness," she says. "Performance-based pay does that." At some companies, performance compensation represents 20 percent or more of take home pay. Valuable as it is as a retention tool, per- formance-based pay carries the hazard of unwittingly rewarding the wrong behavior. "It's important that people understand what the business wants, and that they feel valued when they meet the employer's expectations. The ability to contribute and to feel involved with the success of the organization can be its own motivation." — Donna Cutting, CEO, Red Carpet Learning Systems "When you lose your best employees, you lose not only their skills, but also their leadership potential." — David Dye, president, Let's Grow Leaders "Businesses which fail to retain their best people will be stuck with a majority of their employees being slackers and overtaxing the foundational employees whom they rely on for productivity." — Richard Avdoian, employee development consultant, Midwest Business Institute

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