7 Tips to Keep Your Top Employees
No matter the size or stage your business is currently at, having employees leave is just bad for business. As the Wall Street Journal notes, a high employee turnover rate can cost "twice an employee's salary to find and train a replacement." Not only are there financial repercussions, a high turnover rate can also lower the knowledge base in your company and decrease performance and morale.
If you want to avoid this negativity, it's best to retain your best employees. And, you can do that by following these seven tips.
1. Hire Selectively
Before you can begin to retain employees, you have to make sure that you have the right employees to begin with. The Wall Street Journal suggests you "Interview and vet candidates carefully, not just to ensure they have the right skills but also that they fit well with the company culture, managers, and co-workers." You can also use assessment tools to gather data on prospective employees. This data can be used to predict which job seekers would fit best in the position and within your company.
2. Offer a Competitive Benefits Package Salary
If you want to keep top-notch talent, then you're going to have to pay them well. Entrepreneur notes that salaries are based on the following:
- Employee skill and experience
- Supply and demand
- Geographical location
- Worker seniority
However, a high salary isn't always the deciding factor when employees seek employment elsewhere. Many times they are looking for competitive benefits. As the Wall Street Journal points out, make sure you provide, "health insurance, life insurance, and a retirement-savings plan is essential in retaining employees." Also offer additional perks such as flextime and the option of telecommuting that fit the needs of your employees.
3. Provide a Comfortable Work Environment and Culture
Have you ever walked into a room and felt either unsafe or uncomfortable? Imagine doing that every workday for eight or more hours a day. Employees want to feel safe and comfortable at work. That's why it's important that your office is properly ventilated, well lighted, and at a comfortable temperature. Lois Goodell, principal and the director of interior design at CBT Architects, adds inc.com that "Designing a comfortable office environment is about more than aesthetics; careful attention to design can give a boost to employee happiness."
You also need to have a culture that matches your industry, engages your employees, and motivates them. John Tabis, founder and CEO of The Bouqs Company, states in Fast Company that you accomplish this by making the culture personal and authentic. You then need to find a way to communicate your vision and always remember to put people first.
4. Offer Training
Entrepreneur recommends that "you should offer skills enhancement to all your workers." Why? "New technology, new selling techniques, changes in employment laws, and the huge impact of the internet are all compelling reasons to keep permanent employees in the loop."
Here are some ways to keep your employees trained:
- Computerized training
- DVDs, audiotapes, books, articles and pamphlets
- Mentoring programs
- Outside seminars and classes
5. Listen to Them
You can learn a lot when listening to employees. Maybe it's a great new business plan that can be implemented, which makes them feel like they're a part of the entire business process. Perhaps you heard they have a sick family member, so you want to send them a card or flowers or simply wish them condolences. You can always spare a few minutes to find out what's going on with your employees in both their professional and personal lives. Bonus tip: Conduct "stay" interviews so you can find out exactly why employees have remained with the company and what it would take for them to leave.
6. Quarterly Reviews
Quarterly reviews, or evaluations, are a major assist. These one-on-one meetings allow you to set goals and define how you want these goals to be achieved. However, this discussion should also include asking them what they need to accomplish these goals. Remember, this is should be a conversation and not a lecture.
7. Recognize Their Accomplishments
Finally, and perhaps most important, you have to recognize the accomplishments of employees. This could be a simple thank you or handwritten well-done note. If you want to raise the stakes, you could thank them by introducing them to new clients, sponsoring them at an industry event/conference, stock options, orawarding a prize.
However you decide to recognize your employees, praising employees for completing performance goals is one of the most effective ways to make them feel appreciated, which will make them want to stay with you for the long haul.