When you’ve spent time, effort and investment in recruiting an employee, not to mention training them and building them into your team, retaining them is a real concern. And when you have top talent, people who are instrumental, retention is even more important.
While factors like salary and benefits can be the reason an employee took the job, those won’t be enough to keep them around in the long run. What you need is to create job satisfaction, loyalty and engagement. If your staff don’t feel valued, they’re not going to stick around. Here are a few ways to achieve that:
- Appreciate your staff – recognise and reward good work. Be specific; saying “well done” is a good start, but saying, “well done on X project”, or “great idea for Y” shows that you were truly paying attention to their contribution.
- Be personal – if you know your staff well, you can show your appreciation in more specific ways – an extra day’s holiday for someone with family overseas or a wedding coming up, for example. Rewards don’t have to be financial in nature, if they’re genuinely targeted to your staff member’s likes, wants or needs, they can help to develop a much more personal connection.
- Provide opportunities – top talent staff want to succeed, they’re not resting on their laurels and you shouldn’t either. If you don’t have a career development plan for them, create one (with their input, if you can). If you can invest in additional training, do so. Show them that they can succeed within your organisation, rather than needing to move on to somewhere else to see their career progress.
- Be flexible – consider implementing a flexible working environment, and not just for parents. A good work-life balance makes a huge difference not only to job satisfaction but also to productivity. More than that, it shows your top talent that you see them as people, with needs outside of the office.
- Communicate – create an environment where your staff can come to you with their issues, concerns or ideas – be available to them. Communication is vital, and it goes both ways; if you’re ever beset by rumours flying around, make sure your talent know the real story so they can have confidence in their position. If a time of uncertainty is coming up, don’t hide it or you risk alienating the people you want to keep around.
Overall, the key message here is to value your staff, and make sure they know that you do. Loyalty is a massive factor in retaining staff, and creating an environment and a culture where every individual is valued is the best way to develop that loyalty. Make sure your executives and managers are on the same page, and carry your culture of engagement throughout the organisation.
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