How to Retain Good Employees

Employee retention is something many if not most business leaders think about on a regular basis. Your employees are your most valuable asset, and the ones who perform at the highest levels are among those you hope to keep around for a long time. Too often, an employee, whether or not he or she feels undervalued, will jump at a great offer from another company, or worse, a competitor.

There are some things you, as a leader, can do to keep your most prized employees happy at work and prevent them from jumping ship. First and foremost, let them know on a regular basis how much you value and appreciate their contributions to the company’s success. There’s an old saying about praising publicly and criticizing privately. It’s true.

While it’s good to tell your employees how much they matter in a one-on-one conversation, it’s a real boost to an individual’s self esteem to do so in a way that involves recognition. Some companies have an employee of the month program that accomplishes this. Make sure they understand that you know what they’re doing and how much you appreciate it.

Another thing that leads to employee satisfaction is having the latitude to do their jobs in an autonomous way. Far too many leaders, especially middle managers, haven’t figured out yet that micromanagement isn’t a good thing. If your employees realize that you trust them to make certain decisions on their own, it’s likely that that trust will go a long way in creating a happy workforce.

In today’s workplace as well as in the marketplace at large, good ideas are currency. Encourage your employees to contribute their ideas for products, services, processes, and more. You might have someone who’s a creative thinker in a non-creative position who would love the opportunity to suggest something new, innovative or disruptive. Create a mechanism for fostering these kinds of ideas and really listen to and consider them. When you take an employee’s suggestion, act on it and a positive result occurs, that employee will feel extremely valuable.

Provide training and educational opportunities. Many people are attracted to the idea of broadening their skill set, and there are many ways to allow them to do that. Seminars, webinars, workshops, classes, and other forums can help people improve their existing skills and develop new ones. In many cases, the cost is minimal or even free. This is a great way to invest in employee retention.

Investing in good employee benefits can provide a major factor in retaining staff. Look around at the options that exist and explore ways to create a benefits package that addresses the needs of workforce members. Yes, there are costs involved, but making this investment upfront might be less expensive than hiring and training new employees when one or more decide to leave.

Finally, create a welcoming, collaborative culture that makes employees look forward to going to work every day. Find ways to ensure that employees will be satisfied with their work and with the company. Promote your culture and create desire to be a part of it. If your company really lives its culture, it’s a good bet that employees will want to stay for the long haul.

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