“People with the right talent for their jobs, and long tenures in them, outperform colleagues dramatically – and their contributions skyrocket when they are also engaged.”

So says James Harder in HBR’s Engage Your Long-Time Employees to Improve Performance. According to him, TET = talent, engagement and tenure.

The power of TET may not be a revelation to you, and it should motivate you to ask whether you are active in engaging (and retaining) these skilled, long-term employees. If you’re not, there is a risk that they will move on to other teams or organizations.

Next steps to maximize the TET trifecta:

  1. Put the right people in the right roles. Align with people’s natural talents, and if you find that you’ve made an error, find a new role with a better fit right away.
  2. Get to know your people – how the work fits with their purpose in life and their goals. Studies have shown that employees are more engaged when their boss really gets them.
  3. Allow them freedom to do what they do best. They’ll reward you with both high performance and commitment to the job.

What’s the bottom line payoff? According to Harder:

“Employees who hit the trifecta of tenure, engagement, and talent perform 18% higher than the average employee and 35% higher than a worker who goes zero for three. For skilled production, and support staff, this equates to a financial impact of $6 million and $12 million, respectively, per 1,000 employees. For highly educated professionals, the economic impact essentially doubles from $12 to $23 million per 1,000 workers.”

Definitely worth the effort.

Have a surefire way of hiring and keeping people and boosting their engagement? Comment below or message us.


Photo by Alex Kotliarskyi on Unsplash