Key Strategies to Retain Today’s Top Performers

As summer burnout is hopefully cooling off, one question we hear from leaders is “How do I retain top performers?” 

To combat voluntary turnover, some strategies include offering new or more generous compensation and benefits, flexible work options, and creating learning and development opportunities. 

A different perspective to consider, “How do we keep top performers engaged?” It is a constant journey that requires a lead by example approach, consistent attention, fine tuning and putting people in roles they are designed to succeed in.

Employee engagement may seem like another corporate buzzword, but behind the phrase is a great deal of merit and muscle. Many companies are shifting their hiring focused talent strategy to motivating and inspiring their current workforce. 

Let’s start with some basics.


Employee engagement is a measure of how motivated a person is within their job, team, hiring manager and organization.

We know working with top performing organizations, employee engagement is more than having one-off employee parties and perks. It’s a constant focus and practice rooted in individual relationships with the job, team, hiring manager and organization. 

That focus allows employees to become invested in their work, inspired by their work, remain committed to the long term vision of the organization, and feel empowered to go the extra mile.


Engaged employees are more likely to put in the discretionary effort which makes your company more productive and delivers results. Employee engagement is a catalyst for great teamwork, achievements, relationships, and bottom-line results.

A Gallup study stated a highly engaged workforce is 14% more productive than teams with low engagement. 

Conversely, a lack of employee engagement can result in a loss of productivity, turnover, and misalignment with the job itself.

Here is a simple tool to measure how much it may be costing you.


You can collect the information through behavioral assessments, employee feedback software, employee engagement surveys, 1-on-1 meetings and exit interviews. 

While we can advise using our implementation tools, consider creating your own with these helpful tips.


“I am/am not excited to come to work every day.”

“My manager does/doesn’t bring out the best in me.”

“I feel respected/disrespected by the people I work with.”

“There is/isn’t honest two-way communication.”

These may be statements that resonate, but you’ll never know unless you measure it.  

Here is a specific example: Employee A begins a position he is wired to do. Months go along, they are performing at a satisfactory level and progressing, communicating well with the team and other direct reports. Suddenly, the individual reports to the hiring manager they are resigning, citing burnout as contributing factors. You and your team are in shock, can’t pinpoint the reasons and attribute this to a generational issue. 

Had you had some level of engagement and feedback, you could gain accurate insights the individual wasn’t aligned to the job itself.  You may have been able to prevent turnover and develop a tailored approach to managing this individual. 

Focusing from the top down view — organization, team, manager, and job — can help you prescribe improvements instead of going at it blind. 

You can probe with the right conversations. If you sense morale is low among a group of employees, bring it up privately during your next 1-on-1 meeting. Consider asking the following questions:

  • Are you enjoying your current role?
  • Do you feel supported by the team?
  • In what ways can I improve as a manager?
  • How do you feel about the state of the company?


Trying to revamp engagement in one day, week or month is unrealistic. Start small to improve one or more areas, and be relentlessly consistent.  

  • Make a daily habit to recognize your people for a good job (either publicly or privately)
  • Celebrate behaviors which exemplify the best of your company culture
  • Have regular feedback discussions with your employees. Employees not only want their voices heard, but also want expectations around the work they are being assigned. When an employee feels they can provide their opinions and they matter, they will be more likely to contribute or go the extra mile. 

One thing I know, retention strategies don’t happen behind a computer desk…get after it. 

About The Author

Tyler Bloom is the founder of Tyler Bloom Consulting. A former golf course superintendent and turf professional, Tyler’s love of all things golf began at the age of six when he stepped onto the course for the first time. 

Tyler has an Executive Certificate in Talent Acquisition from Cornell University and a degree in Turfgrass Science from Penn State University. With 20 years of experience in the golf and turfgrass industry, Tyler has worked directly with reputable club leaders at some of the most prestigious clubs to place over 100 professionals in executive and management level positions throughout the United States.

Are you ready to build a top-performing team that drives results? Our proven framework, methodologies, and implementation is based on our personal track record of developing world-class teams. In addition to talent acquisition, we provide leadership development and ongoing consultative services for the golf course and club industry. Our team has personally coached and mentored dozens of future golf course superintendents across the United States.