To Retain Your Best People, Give Them Work They Love

Retaining star performers is tougher than ever. To keep them, give them responsibilities that satisfy their deeply embedded life interests--their long-held passions for specific activities. There are eight basic interests, including theory development and conceptual thinking, counseling and mentoring, and application of technology. Most people possess one to three of them.

How to tailor jobs to employees' life interests? Uncover interests by probing and observing. Then add new responsibilities enabling employees to express those interests. For example, an engineer interested in counseling and mentoring could plan and manage new-hire orientation. And a salesperson with an interest in quantitative analysis could be given new duties working with market-research analysts.

By washingtonpost.com Editors  |  September 18, 2008; 8:00 AM ET  | Category:  Management Tip of the Day
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