Losing a great employee hurts. To begin with, finding top talent is costly and time-consuming, so losing them means spending time and money again on recruiting, hiring, training, and developing new employees. Failing to retain them also creates organizational issues such as reduced company productivity, increased workload on the remaining staff, and lower morale and feelings of job insecurity. Additionally, losing the internal and external relationships that your best employees have developed could negatively affect your company’s succession plans.
To prevent these scenarios, here are five tips on how to keep your best employees.
#1 Praise and recognize them
Your small- to medium-sized business (SMB) must have a fair and transparent employee evaluation system at its very core. This is so that your organization will have the ability to assess growth and recognize achievements regularly.
It doesn't have to cost much to acknowledge your best employees. The habit of personally giving thank you cards or shout-outs during team meetings can dramatically improve employee retention. However, recognition could also be in the form of a certificate, gift, promotion, or pay increase. When you praise them on a regular basis, they will feel valued and become loyal employees. In fact, a Gallup study on employee recognition shows that employees who receive regular recognition and praise are more likely to stay with their organization.
The best SMBs also create a culture of recognition, encouraging praise from every direction in the company. Allow your employees to nominate one another for special acknowledgment for hard work, creativity, or other aspects, then announce the awarding to the rest of the company.
#2 Offer competitive pay and benefits package
To retain your best employees, you must offer them competitive salaries that match industry standards. Otherwise, your competitors can easily woo them to jump ship. In fact, a PayScale research on why employees quit shows that the top reason was the pursuit of higher pay.
The benefits you offer can also have a big impact on how employees feel about their job. A Zoro study on employee benefits reveals that 72.1% of respondents say that having more work benefits would increase job satisfaction. These benefits are not exclusive to health insurance. They may also include:
- Other forms of insurance (e.g., life, disability and accident, critical illness)
- Generous paid time off
- Performance bonus
- Flexible work schedule
- Work-from-home privileges
- Retirement fund
- Health and wellness programs
- Financial literacy programs
Importance of employee benefits to employee retention
- 73% of state and local employees say they would be more likely to leave their job if their healthcare benefits were cut (National Institute on Retirement Security 2019 study)
- 30% of employees said they’ve left a job for not offering work flexibility (Flexjobs 2019 Annual Survey)
- 80% of employees said they would be more loyal to their employer if it offered job flexibility, and more than half said they have tried to negotiate flexible work with their employer (Flexjobs 2019 Annual Survey)
- 84% of millennial state and local employees say a pension benefit is a major reason why they stay in their jobs (National Institute on Retirement Security 2019 study)
- 93% of state and local workers say pensions incentivize public workers to have long public service careers, while 94% say offering a pension is a good tool for attracting and retaining employees (National Institute on Retirement Security 2019 study)
#3 Ask for their input and implement their ideas
The best employees like working in an organization where they think they can make a difference. So if you want to keep them around, constantly solicit their feedback. Let them know that the company is listening to their concerns and ideas. Ask them what’s working and what’s not. This demonstrates that you respect their wisdom, experience, and judgment.
But don’t just ask for their input, find ways to actually implement their ideas. When your top employees see how they can affect real change at work, they will feel more motivated and become more likely to stay with your SMB.
#4 Provide ongoing learning opportunities
Exemplary employees want to keep learning and growing, so it’s important to give them opportunities for professional development, mentoring, and skill advancement. Encourage them to attend seminars, participate in lunch-and-learn events, enroll in online classes, or even join cross-functional projects. By doing so, not only will they perform better at work, but they will also feel more valued and stay with your company. In fact, LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Learning Report reveals that 93% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers.
#5 Give them a clear direction or offer paths toward opportunities in the organization
If high performers don’t see a future within your SMB, they will look for better opportunities elsewhere. They want to see a continuous path of greater responsibility and professional growth.
Although it’s not always possible to provide them with promotions to higher levels within the company, it’s important for them to see that you have exerted effort to move them toward that direction.
Keep in mind though that some top performers may have no interest in managing people, but would want to have increased responsibilities in other things. In such cases, offer them flexible and career paths to keep them engaged in the long run.
Keeping your best employees takes serious effort and demands your full attention. That’s why you should partner with IT Management Solutions. We’ll take off your hands the time-consuming tasks of managing your IT so you can focus on taking care of your top employees. Read our FREE eBook to learn how your SMB can benefit from outsourcing your IT.