You've spent hours upon hours and top dollars to hire the best talent. Now it's time to keep them. Do this by showing you are committed to their happiness and personal growth. You will build loyalty, and make a positive impact to your business, with these innovative ideas.

1. Let your employees write their job title.
2. Create a "Do What You Want" day.
3. Remove vacation policies.
4. Pay people to quit.
5. Coach all your employees. Not just your top talent.
6. Coach significant others of your top talent.
7. Drop yearly reviews.
8. Invest in Passion Projects.

1. Let your employees write their job title.
Throw away the boring business cards with titles like Director of HR. Instead use something more creative like Joe Huff's title at LSTN of Director of Positivity. Let each employee create her own title. The employee gets to reflect on their strengths, what they add to the company, and share what is important to them. You get to see who your team really is and what motivates them. Other ideas are Chief Happiness Officer, Professional Problem Solver, Energy Creator, Vision Builder, Comedic Relief Manager, Business Integrity Master, and Smile Spreader. What would your title be?

2. Create a "Do What You Want" day.
Pick one day a month where all employees can work on absolutely anything they want. The only rule is it has to be related to your business. Then let the imaginations soar! You'll be surprised at the hidden talents you find when someone in HR designs a product you end up taking to market or an engineer creates a marketing jingle that goes viral.

3. Remove vacation policies.
If people love what they are doing trust they will get everything done. If they are not delivering, there is an opportunity to explore what is going on. No matter what the vacation policy is, the key is making sure your team actually takes time off and completely disconnects to recharge the batteries. This will also help you see potential risks by identifying if your organization is truly dependent on a single person.

4. Pay people to quit.
Amazon and Zappos know the value in paying people to quit. It's about building the best culture possible. If people aren't happy doing what they are doing you don't want them there anyway. There are many others that would LOVE that job and be grateful to work with your organization on your mission. Plus, you know that the ones who stay are committed. Their colleagues know this too making the team that much stronger.

5. Coach all your employees. Not just your top talent.
With the right life coach you can learn how to lead with confidence, strengthen relationships, navigate change with grace and ease, and improve communication among many other gifts. While not cost effective to coach each of your employees individually, you can coach the organization as a whole to develop these skills.

There are many brilliant, talented people coaching organizations and some not so brilliant. Be sure to determine what is important to your organization and interview a few to find the right fit. This is also true when choosing a coach for yourself.

Here are some of my favorite coaches that focus on transforming organizations:

  • AIM Leadership, Camille Preston--Takes a holistic approach to help individuals and organizations reach their full potential by focusing on the inside out.
  • launchbox, Dan Negroni--Experts in cross-generational issues and bridging the gaps between managers and Gen Y to increase employee engagement, productivity, innovation, and profits.
  • Coaches Training Institute (CTI), Christie Mann - Teaches foundational coaching skills such as, listening, asking curious powerful questions, and acknowledgment to develop the best leaders.

6. Coach significant others of your top talent.
Assuming you are coaching your high performers the next step is to coach their significant others. A startup environment can be stressful and that often gets passed on to the significant other. By offering support to your top talent's life partner it helps them work through potential issues in a healthy way creating a happier home. The positive energy will flow into your organization and the commitment to the entire family's happiness will speak volumes. Be sure to include your life partner too!

Of course, I love to shuck people to help them find their inner pearls. Dr. Robert Holden, Alyssa Nobriga, and Michele Brown are other coaches making positive impacts in the lives of many.

7. Drop yearly reviews.
I have yet to meet anyone that enjoys the yearly review process. They are cumbersome and largely ineffective. Instead institute a novel approach like Adobe's Check In, an informal and ongoing dialogue focused on personal and organizational goals and an individual's growth.

The open and continual communication of Adobe's Check In keeps employees focused and eliminates any surprises when it is time for promotions, raises, and bonuses. The transparency reduces the traditional attrition spike after review season and saves the organization countless hours, and headaches, of writing formal reviews.

8. Invest in Passion Projects.
The best organizations build a family, not just products and services. Good families support us in all our dreams. Each year have your employees pick a project they are passionate about that is unrelated to work. Maybe they want to learn a new language, write a book, or volunteer at the homeless shelter. Have the employee lay out specific and achievable goals. Make the Passion Project part of what they discuss with their managers. At the end of the year sponsor a talent show to showcase all the accomplishments. The benefits are endless with minimal investment. Employees build new qualities and skills, such as confidence or project management, which also helps your business. You will also build a family bond that is unbreakable. What would your project be?

Take Action Today!
As a leader you can start by talking to your team. Give them a chance to share what they think would be the most effective options. Then let them take the lead while supporting them every step of the way!

As an employee take the initiative to introduce these ideas to your organization. Don't be discouraged if leadership is focused on other priorities at this time. You can do a few of these on your own such as kicking off the passion projects. You get to practice being the natural leader you are and your colleagues will love you for it! And, you may just find that leadership will support you once you get started and they see the benefits.

If you have inspiring ideas to share please let me know. We can explore the possibility of a future column together!

Published on: Oct 16, 2015