5 Secrets to Retaining Great Employees

You’ll find a lot of advice and articles about attracting top talent and hiring the best candidates for the job. This is an important step in building an effective team, but what do you do after you’ve got amazing employees?

In an era where loyalty to a company isn’t expected, employees will often look for better opportunities if they perceive that the grass is greener on the other side.

In order to retain employees in a small business in this day and age, there are certain things you need to do to show the employee that they are valued and respected. Below are key things you can do to aid in retaining good employees.

Value Their Job

Every person in your company has the opportunity to be a game-changing employee. Sure, you might want to give more attention to the Chief Financial Officer than you do the cleaner, but remember; if a person’s job wasn’t important, you probably wouldn’t have hired them. From the accounting to the marketers to the admin staff, each job is something separate and should be treated with respect. Tell each employee how much he or she is valued on a regular basis.

Value Their Time

When you own your own business, you know that every hour you spending building your business is an hour well spent. When you work for yourself, the amount of time you put in is a crucial factor, and growing your business is your number one priority. So it’s only natural that you are willing to put in as many hours to get the job done as is necessary, even if it’s at the expense of a social life, family life or other interests.

You cannot expect an employee, no matter how loyal, to make that sacrifice to the extent that you do. While it’s reasonable to have deadlines, understand that your employees have other constraints on their time. Don’t load them with too many jobs to do in the hours you pay them for, because morale will be low and jobs will get left unfinished. Allowing your employees the work-life balance they need can be a good business insurance policy when it comes to retaining employees.

Value Their Input

While as a business owner, your ideas and direction are paramount, the worst thing that you can do as an employer is not let your employees have input.

On the one hand it makes them feel incredibly valuable — and makes them more willing to work for you as they realize their own visions come true.

On the other hand, you know that you are not the font of all knowledge, and if you’re hiring someone for their skills, you know that their skills and experience are probably more in depth in that one area you’ve hired them for than your own.

Value Their Future Visions

You have dreams. You have to, because otherwise you wouldn’t have started your own business, or have gotten to where you are today.

The vision of the future is what drives you.

It’s the same for your employees. Sure, they might not have the same vision as you do, but there is one key reason why they are there working for your company and not somebody else’s. It might be the money. It might be the atmosphere. Behind it though, there is a why. If you want to retain your employees, you need to find that why.

Value Their Lives

Employees, contrary to some businesses behavior, are not just expendable commodities. The best thing you can do is to realize this. If you treat your employees as human beings, then they will work better for you, and for longer. A simple five-minute chat about someone’s life can return its investment a million times.

Retaining key employees is good for the bottom line of your business, since it can cost up to 20% of the salary for the position if you need to fill it when an employee leaves. Taking the time to value your employees can help create long-term employee-employer relationships and help you retain the talent you need to keep your business thriving.

Cowboy Silhouette Photo via Shutterstock

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Melissa Thompson

Melissa Thompson Melissa Thompson is a freelance producer and writer at USA Today for the web only video interview series 'Your Take'. She lives in Utah with her 2 kids and husband.

One Reaction

  1. Love this column Melissa!

    Definitely, all these factors should really be taken into consideration seriously if you wish keep your talent and be loyal to you as you want them to be. 🙂

    Keep them coming!

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