Skip to content

How to reward and retain the top talent in your organisation

Kate Allen, Executive Chair and Marketing Director, Allen Associates

When Cristiano Ronaldo shocked the world by leaving Real Madrid this summer, many were surprised as to why the greatest talent in football willingly gave up the prestige associated with being a “galáctico”.

While Cristiano hasn’t been the most upfront about his reasoning for leaving Real Madrid, insiders suggest that broken promises, praise for outsiders and an overall feeling of dejection lead to this move in his career.

Simply put, Employee retention is of the utmost importance for businesses looking to thrive in the near term. Losing star talent can damage morale, highlight skills gaps and be inevitably damaging to your businesses’ bottom line. And, if that wasn’t enough, research suggests that replacing an Employee can set your company back double their annual salary. While €60,000,000 may seem like a reasonable sum for Real Madrid to pay; for the average SME, even the smallest of margins can be vitally important come year end.


Transparency has forever been a buzzword of the business world. Employees ask for more of it, executives want less of it, and star performers usually sit somewhere in between. It’s natural for goal getters and KPI busters to naturally have a greater scope of the business and be inquisitive in nature. These behaviours shouldn’t be shunned, but rather nurtured and encouraged.

An honest working environment should always be reciprocal; 360 reviews allow for appraisals to be conducted for both manager and Employee and have been proven to increase engagement in departments. Meetings of this sort give a manager the opportunity to suitably praise, maybe give a raise and even critique when necessary. Remember to listen, understand, and act upon the concerns of the team in your employ. Sometimes the only reward star performers are looking for is to be listened to.


Top performers usually share a very similar trait; they continue to improve and educate themselves all year round. An Employer should nurture this rare talent by offering opportunities for professional development, continuing education and even personal growth. Encouraging staff to take up new skills not only rewards committed Employees but can be an effective way of increasing specialisation within your business. While skills orientated training has its role in progression, leadership or management training can also be a great way to show star players you are serious about their long-term aspirations.

Sing their praises

Every Employee likes to be appreciated. While this may come as a surprise to no-one, managers up and down the United Kingdom regularly forget to recognise high performers in their department. Feeling under-appreciated is one of the most powerful motivators for people looking to change their job - in fact, a recent study revealed 66% of Employees would "likely leave their job if they didn't feel appreciated." This is up significantly from 51% of Employees who felt this way in 2012.

Recognising achievements should be one most rewarding parts of management, and this commendation should not only be left in appraisal meetings. Informing fellow senior management of the star performers under your tutelage can boost their standing in the company and cause a ripple effect of praise direct to their morale.

Over the last 20 years, we have grown as a business to become one of the leading independent Recruitment agencies in Oxfordshire, and in 2018 have opened our first London office, to service Clients in the capital.

How do you reward your staff? Get in touch, we would love to hear from you.

Can we help you? Click here for more information.