Getting top talent into your work force is only the first step. Once you get the best, you have to keep them. Competition for top-tier workers is fierce. Businesses, recruiters, and headhunters will be trying to make your best workers into their best workers. Aside from the wasted time and effort of hiring them, any employees who leave will also take the training and experience you’ve provided with them to the new company. You lose time, money, talent, and knowledge—all of which then benefits your competitors. Like finding top talent, retaining top talent also requires a multifaceted approach.
Recognition and Reward
Never underestimate the importance of encouragement and positive feedback. No employee wants to feel like an anonymous cog in the machine. When your employees perform well, don’t hesitate to single them out for special recognition. Small rewards for top performers will give them the recognition they crave, without costing you a fortune.
For talented individuals to perform their best, they need an environment that encourages and motivates them. If they’re surrounded by negative or underperforming employees, their own performance will suffer. If your top talent isn’t performing up to expectations, examine the environment you’ve placed them in before assuming that the problem is with them.
This is about more than just an hourly wage. Make sure that the compensation you offer is tailored to the needs of your top performers. Things like student-loan repayment or club memberships can go a long way toward making an employee feel appreciated. As for payment, it’s important to keep up with what your competitors are paying. No matter what perks you offer, if the salary gap between you and other businesses gets too large, people will jump ship.
Top performers didn’t get that way by doing the same thing every day. They sought out and overcame new challenges, improving their overall skillset along the way. As an employer, you need to give your top talent plenty of opportunity to continue that growth. Not only will they impress you, they’ll be less likely to get bored and start looking for a change.
Your best workers want to feel like they’re able to contribute to all parts of a project. The more involved in a project they are, the more enthusiastic they’ll be. An employee who is enthusiastic about their job is less likely to look for another job. Involve your top talent in as many levels of the project as possible.
This one shows up in almost every list for a reason. Without open lines of communication, your top talent will feel isolated, alienated, and cut off. Keep them in the loop about current and upcoming projects. Give them positive feedback and, when necessary, constructive criticism. Encourage their input, or they’ll be giving it to another employer.
Give your employees the opportunity to improve their existing skills and learn new skills. Most top-tier employees want to learn new things, and like having a wide variety of experiences. Ongoing training and continuing education gives them that opportunity. If they feel like they’re getting more out of the job than just a paycheck, they’re more likely to stick around.
Respecting your employees is about more than just being polite to them. You have to understand their needs, understand your workplace, and understand how to make those two things fit together. A quality staffing agency can help you along the way. They can help you put together customized employment contracts, workplace training programs, research salary and benefit trends, and help you find the top talent you’ve been looking for.