Shooting for Stars: Cross-Sector Lessons for Retaining High-Performing Educators

This report by Public Impact identifies four common strategies employed by other sectors to disproportionately retain high performers and discusses how committed education leaders could begin applying these strategies right now. The four key strategies organizations successfully use to boost high-performer retention are as follows:

  • Pay with purpose. Pay matters more to high performers than other employees, and research shows that it can keep them or send them fleeing. Jobs with competitive, differentiated pay and timely raises make it more likely that high performers will stay.
  • Give high performers mountains to climb. In addition to the salary increases or bonuses that often accompany them, promotions and opportunities for advancement boost retention, especially of high performers.
  • Design flexible and challenging work roles. High-performing employees value opportunities to step into new roles and take on new challenges, even ones that do not involve linear advancement.
  • Build lasting teams. Informative hiring processes that select people likely to stay can improve both performance and retention of high performers. After hiring, grouping high performers together improves collective performance and lowers turnover.
Public Impact