Businesses often spend so much effort into recruiting new "rock star" employees that they don't focus on the rock stars already working for them. An experienced and talented employee is worth more in terms of productivity and loyalty than ten potential hires. Use these simple steps to retain your talented employees.
Schedule One-on-One Time
While annual reviews are the norm in businesses, they aren't particularly awe-inspiring. This tactic often doesn't correct employee performance issues because of the length of time it encompasses and rarely improves employee-manager relationships. Having an informal "check in" session once every month or quarter is a simple way to retain talented employees. These sessions not only strengthen relationships but allow managers to learn more about the goals and ambitions of the employee while the employee gains timely insight into their job performance. Training managers to build relationships with their employees helps companies pinpoint dissatisfaction and correct it before losing talented employees.
Fifty years ago, it was standard for employees to stay at the same company until retirement. Today, employees are more fluid. With stagnating wages and low morale, many employees bounce from company to company within a field for more money or better benefits. Employers wondering how to retain talented employees need to take a page from the history books and reward loyalty within their field. Whether it's using a workforce management system to track and reward attendance or simply keeping up with competitors' salaries, keeping talented (and trained!) employees requires a little work. Companies that pour their resources into keeping their talented employees rather than looking for new ones create a happy workplace and a motivated workforce.
Focus on Employee Goals
As an owner or manager, it's easy to get tunnel vision. You hire a person for a position and expect them to work hard and excel at that particular role. When thinking about how to retain talented employees, you need to get into the head space of those employees. While some may be happy to stay in their role with appropriate pay raises and incentives, others may be interested in another role. Employers who help employees reach their goals keep talented employees in-house. During monthly meetings, managers need to find out what motivates their employees and what their goals are. Helping an employee transition from one department to another through education and training not only helps the problem of how to retain talented employees but also promotes company loyalty.
In the quest for how to retain talented employees, words often aren't enough. Employees search for jobs where their work is compensated and appreciated. While a paycheck ensures they are compensated, showing that they are appreciated can be a little trickier. Incentive programs are a great way to get employees motivated and productive while providing that much needed appreciation. Set sales goals or safety initiatives that provide monetary or time bonuses to employees. While employees still need a competitive salary, an extra bonus for completing a health initiative or an afternoon off for a completed project is an added bonus that promotes employee satisfaction.
Retaining talented employees is more intensive than finding talented employees but the rewards for businesses are infinitely greater. A talented employee working in the company knows the ins and outs of their position and can learn other positions more quickly. Companies that focus on how to keep talented employees can not only create a happy workplace, but also benefit from their employee's experiences within the company to make it better and more productive. Next time you start thinking about hiring, refocus your thoughts instead on retention.