Who are your ‘A’-Player Employees – and what are you doing to retain them?

Every business owner knows the key to attracting and maintaining satisfied A-Grade customers is to attract, develop and nurture a highly engaged A-Player team. 

When we take care of our staff, they take care of our customers for us… for the long-term.

So, would you enthusiastically rehire everyone on your team, knowing what you know today?

What percentage of your team are A-Players Employees – and what are you doing to retain them?

These are the challenge questions you need to be asking if you are serious about growth in 2022.

Jim Collins, author of Good to Great,  says you need at least 80% of your team to be A-Players. No doubt, while you are reading this, you are now thinking critically about your team – and you can probably identify these stand-out employees. A-Players are defined as:

  • People who are highly productive i.e. consistently meet their key metrics
  • People who are strongly aligned to your culture
  • People who are in the top 10% of the industry for the salary given
  • Team members you would enthusiastically rehire.

To meet your growth expectations, you need to have the right people, in the right seats, doing the right things.

Jim calls this ‘first who, then what’. It’s the complete opposite of what we normally think of when planning. Don’t decide what you want to do and then get the people you need to do it. Instead, start by getting the right people into the organisation and the wrong people out.

Jim gives us three principles to follow…

  • Principle 1: When in doubt, don’t hire – keep looking. Great companies are prepared to grow only at the rate they can hire the right people.
  • Principle 2: When you know you need to make a change in personnel, act right away. You must let go of the wrong people. It isn’t fair on them and it’s not fair on the organisation to keep them around. But a word of caution: don’t overlook the possibility that the right person might just be in the wrong position.
  • Principle 3: Put your best people on your biggest opportunities. Managing problems well can make your organisation good, but only exploiting opportunities can make you great. So put your best people precisely where they can generate the biggest opportunities.

The right people don’t need to be tightly managed or fired up. They will be self-motivated, driven to produce the best results and be part of something great.

So now that you’re thinking about your A-Players (presuming you DO have some in your team) are they happy? Are you looking out for them, or do they have one foot out the door?

Your next step is to set retention plans for each person. This may include personal development plans, demonstrating career progression opportunities, making sure they are being managed and coached effectively.

As Jim says, “there’s one metric that towers above all others, one metric to track with obsession, one metric upon which the greatness of the entire enterprise hinges.”

That metric is what percentage of the key seats on your bus are filled with the right people.

Over the last 25 years, The Scaling Up Growth Platform has helped tens of thousands of CEO’s achieve their growth goals. The New Zealand based coaches of the Scaling Up Platform help NZ Businesses drive growth and scale.


Contact Us