5 Ways to Compensate High-Performing Employees

Compensate Employees

A high-performing company is only so thanks to high-performing employees. And in today’s tough job market, companies can’t afford to lose their top performers. So, in this blog, we look at five ways to compensate high-performing employees.

When you want your company to meet its business goals, you need employees who perform at a high level. But retaining top performers can be challenging. Especially now, when the pandemic has changed the way employees view their jobs, many of them are quitting to find work that offers better pay, greater flexibility and more purpose. This means that workers – especially high performers – are in high demand.

High performers are employees who consistently:

  • Exceed expectations set by the company.
  • Seek feedback so they can improve.
  • Grow their skillset.

To retain your top employees, consider how you compensate them. There are two main types of compensation:

  • Direct compensation: A monetary payment given to employees for time worked or achievements.
  • Indirect compensation: Non-cash benefits with indirect monetary value.

Direct and indirect compensation work together in keeping your top talent around. But what can you offer to provide the kind of rewards your employees deserve?

Here are five ways to compensate high-performing employees.

5 Ways to Compensate High-Performing Employees

1. Give a Pay Increase

Employees expect money for their work, and those who perform at a higher level deserve to be rewarded with a pay increase. After all, a 2017 study found that in highly complex occupations, top performers are 800 percent more productive than their peers. That’s essentially one worker doing the job of eight people. In 2021, this level of productivity – especially given the pandemic circumstances – still rings true.

When you look at it that way, your top performers deserve to be paid for their efforts. A pay increase goes a long way to keep your productive employees happy and engaged with their work.

2. Increase Their Paid Time Off

Paid time off includes any paid sick, vacation or personal days that companies offer their employees. At most companies, all full-time employees receive a certain amount of paid time off from the beginning of their employment. And as employees stay, they accrue more paid time off.

But what if you offered additional paid time off to your top performers? It would be a great way to incentivize employees to put in their best efforts and reward them for helping your company meet its goals.

3. Keep Them Engaged

Low employee engagement is a major problem that hurts retainment at many companies. Since only 33 percent of employees are engaged with their work, offering your top employees new challenges and opportunities prevents them from becoming bored and seeking new opportunities at another company. 

For example, offer opportunities to lead projects or mentor new employees. Engagement opportunities like these help your high performers feel like they are making a difference in the organization. Plus, their work ethic could spread to new team members.

4. Invest in Them

Your top employees are eager to learn. So, if they don’t get opportunities to develop, they are more likely to leave. According to a LinkedIn survey, 94 percent of employees say they would stay at their jobs longer if their companies invested in their learning and development. 

Invest in your high-performing employees so they can continue to grow both personally and professionally.

5. Recognize Them

Recognizing your top employees can be a simple gesture that goes a long way. Since 37 percent of employees feel most encouraged by personal recognition, it’s worth the effort to show your thanks. Here are some tips:

  • Give feedback as soon as possible
  • Provide specific examples of how their efforts made an impact
  • Keep it short and sweet
  • See if and how you can further support them

When you provide recognition to your high-performing employees, you inspire them (and others), to do their best because they know you and the organization appreciate them.


There are many ways to compensate your high-performing employees. You can increase their pay, offer stock options in your company and give them more paid time off. Other options include providing more opportunities for engagement, investing in their development and personally thanking them.

One way to ensure you properly compensate top performers is by implementing performance management software. Utilize a user-friendly platform to manage feedback, goals and performance as a team, whether you are working in the office or at home. The right program will even integrate with your HRIS, compensation and rewards software for a seamless HR solution.

HRSoft’s performance management software, PERFORMview, helps you compensate high-performing employees fairly and easily. See how it works by requesting a demo today.