5 Tips For Retaining Key Staff

Whether your business is just starting out, mature, big or small; employee turnover can be very costly. Losing a good employee doesn’t only have financial repercussions , it impacts your business on other levels too. The financial cost is obvious since you will have to recruit and train a new person while having one less person on your team, but it’s the less obvious consequences that might cost you much more.

Turnover affects your remaining employees by reducing their morale, engagement and eventually productivity. The loss of a single good employee could have such a negative effect on your business that you might end up losing more high performing people. This is what makes employee retention so important.

But a lot of business owners and managers struggle with retention, mostly because of the complexity it entails: understanding people. With some effort however maintaining your top people should not be an impossible task. Here are five important tips that will help you retain your key staff:

  1. Provide proper leadership and supervision. Research shows that the number one reason why people quit their jobs is a bad boss. In other words people don’t quit their companies, they quit their managers. (Source: http://thebusinesstimes.com/the-big-bad-boss-poor-management-costly/). Leaders and supervisors need to show they have what it takes to get the job done and share their leadership vision with employees, explaining to them how they fit in.

Help your leaders understand that the “command and control” leadership method is not effective in this day, and that they will have to demonstrate effective people skills to influence their teams. Provide up-to-date training for your managers to keep them on top of their game and hold them accountable for employee turnover.

  1. Provide opportunities for career growth. High performing employees are generally ambitious people with great career expectations. If you cannot create opportunities for them to advance their careers, then they will go elsewhere to find them. You should provide opportunities for training, mentoring and promotion, and increase the complexity and/or responsibility of their roles to keep them satisfied.
  2. Reward and recognise top performers. While the need to give your employees a competitive compensation and benefits package cannot be refuted, you must also understand that there are other important non-monetary ways of rewarding and recognising your best employees. A simple “thank you” for a job well done can help your employees feel valued and appreciated.
  3. Listen to your employees.  Listening to your employees will provide crucial feedback and importantly tell you what their needs and expectations are. Have a one on one chat with your employees once in a while and keep it informal, maybe over lunch or coffee. This shows them that they are more to you than just workers and will help them feel more comfortable to reveal information on things that could lure them out of your company.
  4. Make employee retention a top priority. All these measures are useless if there is no real commitment to employee retention. Make it a company policy to lose as few employees as possible due to voluntary termination. Don’t leave employee retention to human resource but rather let it be the responsibility of all the leaders in the organisation.

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