Hiring and training new employees is exhausting, time-consuming, and can cause your business to operate at a level below what’s acceptable. So it makes sense to put energy into keeping great employees around.
The top 10 ways to Keep Employees:
- Say “Thank you.” Seems far too simple, doesn’t it? And yet, having a boss that notices your work and expresses their appreciation means a lot; so don’t forget to express your gratitude on a regular basis.
- Make it meaningful: Great employees need to know that what they do matters at a deeper level. Help staff to recognize their impact by making sure they understand how important their part is to the whole. Share thank you notes from clients, use training time to have team members reflect on their contributions; or ask management to share how employees make a difference during a staff meeting.
- Be a great boss: Great bosses take leadership seriously and strive to be better at it. Whether you manage three people or 300, become a student of what makes a great leader and strive to apply what you learn.
- Extend your trust: Autonomy and flexibility are two things you can offer outstanding employees that don’t cost much, if anything, to implement but can make a decent job seem like a great one. Consider offering flexible hours, the opportunity to work from home, or other perks where possible.
- Tap into the rule of attraction: How many times have you heard somebody say they stayed in a job that wasn’t quite fulfilling in some way, just because they “love the people they work with” so much? Great people attract other great people and make them want to stick around. Consider making potential co-workers part of the interview process and put a high premium on people who can play well with others.
- Make it fun: In the book “Drive,” Daniel H. Pink explained how rewards of the carrot-and-stick variety can often backfire, making people less motivated and even causing their performance to suffer. But there is an exception: when it comes to routine tasks that are not going to offer variety or get more exciting no matter how many times you do them, introducing rewards or friendly competition can make them more fun and less likely to detract from the desirability of the job as a whole.
- Give them a raise: If you really value great employees and you can afford to compensate them better, do it.
- Ask what you can do: If you have a great employee who is considering moving on, it’s worth asking what you might do to keep them around or even get them back someday. Maybe there’s something that would mean a lot to them that would be easy for you to give. If not, you’ll at least learn something about how to improve as an employer or boss.
- Provide room to grow: Motivation, commitment and ambition go hand in hand: so don’t expect an outstanding employee to stick around if there’s no way for him or her to move up or grow professionally.
- Show your appreciation: In addition to expressing your gratitude, make sure to show it sometimes, too. Whether you provide an in-house lunch or do a morning coffee run, give end-of-year bonuses or just write a sincere card, make sure to show your thanks not just by expressing it, but by showing it.