5 Tips for Retaining Your Best Employees

Every firm desires to have its best employees continue to contribute to the organization indefinitely. However, this is often easier said than done. Obviously paying your employee well and providing benefits can entice them to stay put, but a lot more goes into making sure an employee feel valued enough to not wander off to greener pastures.

Here are 5 tips you can implement to retain your best employees. 

“Stay” Interviews

Many firms use exit interviews to find out why employees are leaving their jobs. However, by waiting until the exit interview, the employee is already out the door and their feedback, while still helpful, can no longer be used to keep them engaged. The stay interview can be used instead for employers to periodically sit down with their employees to discuss what the employee likes and dislikes about their current position. It allows the firm to measure employee job satisfaction and engagement on an ongoing basis. This way, the firm is able to implement key changes, if necessary, in order to improve employee attrition. 

Encourage Employee Development

Your best employees are likely growth-oriented, so encourage their professional development by allowing them to attend conferences, training seminars and continuing education to further their career advancement. Employees are more likely to stay engaged in their jobs and committed to an organization that makes investments in them and their career development. Get to know their interests and passions and allow them to do challenging and stimulating work in those areas.  Articulate what career development plans you may have for them and what opportunities are available for them to grow with the firm.

Open Communication

Have an open door policy where your employees feel safe to come to you with any concerns or questions that may arise. Give constructive feedback on work performed and be willing to listen to the ideas and suggestions of your employees.  Doing so helps them feel valued and appreciated and not like they are just another body there to make you money. Be available and open when your employee asks for your guidance. 

Set Clear Expectations and Performance Metrics

If employees don’t know what you expect from them and how their performance is measured, it is very difficult for them to perform at a high level. Establish well-defined metrics for evaluating an employee’s performance and contribution. Review performance versus those metrics on a regular basis and not just at the annual review. Praise good work when it’s delivered and discuss work that was sub-par and jointly determine how to avoid a repeat performance in the next round.

Remove Dead Weight

If you have someone in the office who spews negativity, has sub-par production and engages in office politics and gossip, they are a cancer to your firm. Their presence brings the whole office morale down and it reflects poorly on your firm, making your high achievers head for the nearest exit. High achievers want to work with other high achievers. So do everyone a favor and remove those who slow everyone else down.

These are just a few of many tips that you can begin to implement to retain your best employees. Do you have other tactics you've used to keep your employees loyal and engaged? Share some of them in the comments below.