How to Keep Your Best Employee

When it comes to your workforce, it’s usually much more cost effective to keep your current employees happy, than it is to hire new ones. With all of the costs involved with recruiting new employees, hiring, and training them; you’re much better off looking for ways to keep your turnover rates low, and working to retain the employees that you have.

According to some estimates, employers have to spend 6 to 9 months of an employee’s salary on training. Investopedia states that training a new employee to the break-even point takes an average 6.2 months. There’s also the issue of lost productivity and subsequent customer service that could suffer as a result.

While it isn’t always possible to avoid losing your best employees, the good news is that there are a number of things that you can do to encourage them to stick around longer. With this in mind let’s look at some tips for attracting and retaining top talent.

Consider Your Management

“The quality of the supervision an employee receives is critical to employee retention,” writes Susan M. Heathfield in The Balance. “People leave managers and supervisors more often than they leave companies or jobs.” When managers are not treating their teams fairly or decently, then your employees will soon start looking for work elsewhere. Focus on training your managers to be effective leaders, and give them the tools that they need to support their team. Finally, encourage them to be polite and understanding; a simple ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ can go a long way.

Give Them Opportunities to Advance

Your best workers will most likely be very interested in advancing their careers. If there’s little opportunity to grow their skills or advance their careers at your company, then they’ll have no choice but to go somewhere else. Instead of seeking managers from outside your company, consider sourcing them internally. Giving your employees prospects for future growth and opportunities to advance will encourage them to stay longer.

Offer Competitive Pay

If you’ve found a great employee, then you need to pay them a competitive rate! Pay that’s at or below market rate sends the message that the employee isn’t valued, and they may soon start looking for a better job. Instead, consider paying at least 20 percent over market rate. Of course, you’ll want to keep fairness in mind as well. In most cases, those with the same title should be paid the same rate.

Take Employee Feedback Seriously

Don’t assume that your employees are happy. Take the time to ask them, and gather feedback from them on ways that you can improve the work environment or ideas that they have for making their job easier or better. Not only will you stand to benefit by getting real feedback from your team, but by taking the time to seek out your employee’s opinion, and carefully considering their suggestions, it will also help to boost employee morale. They’ll feel better knowing that their concerns are being acknowledged, instead of being swept under the rug.

Don’t Micromanage

No one likes to be micromanaged; and good employees don’t need to be! Instead of insisting that your team do things a specific way, consider giving them some freedom when it comes to completing their tasks. A motivated employee should be able to manage their time well; and will know that they’re supposed to be doing, and how to get it done. Assign tasks and be available, but then leave them to it. Strive to create a work environment that allows your employees freedom to do their jobs. No need to stand over their shoulder!

Communicate Clearly

Clear communication can make the difference between employees staying and leaving. Lack of communication is something that can cause tremendous frustration, and if left unchecked for too long, can even impact your turnover rates.

While no one likes to see a good employee leave; and sometimes it’s not always preventable, with the above tips you should be able to drastically improve engagement, and create an environment that encourages your best workers to stay!

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