5 Ways to Retain Your Top Employees

How to retain employees

Gone are the days when people would spend their entire careers working for the same company. A resume with several (if not more) different companies or even careers on it no longer reflects poorly on a candidate. Actually, changing jobs periodically can be considered a savvy strategy since many job seekers leave as a way to move up the ladder.

So it’s a fact of the modern workforce that employees come and go. Nearly 41 percent of U.S. workers will look for a new job within the next year, according to a recent study by Dale Carnegie.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t do all you can to keep your most valuable, talented employees. Here are five ways to boost employee engagement and retain top talent.

5 employee retention strategies that work

1. Build strong relationships with your direct reports.

The relationship that employees have with their supervisor is a key factor in retention, according to the survey by Dale Carnegie and MSW Research. Employees responded favorably to managers who care about them as people.

To further strengthen these relationships, supervisors should coach employees instead of managing them. When you coach, you’re focused on cultivating their development and growth, which in turn boosts the success of the company.

Read more about how you can build strong relationships with your employees.

2. Outline a path for growth.

If employees don’t see a future for themselves at the company beyond their current role, they’re going to look elsewhere — it’s as simple as that. So, if you want to keep your employees, check in with them periodically to ask about their career goals and talk about how they align with the company’s needs.

Employees might not be aware that there are growth opportunities. And if the type of role they’re seeking doesn’t currently exist, it might prompt you to create a new position if you want to keep them.

3. Promote from within.

When there’s a higher-level job to fill and you hire from outside the company, you’re sending a strong message to employees — and it’s not a positive one. Elevating employees from within your ranks shows that you value their work and you’re committed to their future at the company.

If you do hire from outside the company because your current employees aren’t quite ready for the role, talk to them about that and other opportunities for them to grow and move up. This kind of transparency is essential, or you’re going to give them the impression that they need to leave the company if they ever want to progress in their careers.

4. Offer competitive compensation.

When it comes to compensation, a strong salary, health insurance, and retirement plans (401ks) are key. But they’re not everything. People are also looking for companies that offer benefits like the option to work from home, flextime, and unlimited vacation days (within reason, of course).

These types of benefits tie in to the importance of strong relationships with managers who see their direct reports as more than just employees. When you offer employees greater flexibility, you’re showing that you understand life can get complicated, but you value their work and worth as people enough that you will do everything you can to help them thrive professionally and personally.

5. Don’t forget the perks.

Snacks, monthly birthday celebrations, the occasional free lunch or happy hour — these perks of working in an office may seem like small things, but they go a long way to improve employee satisfaction. Here are 15 low cost perks you could try out.

Of course, it’s not about the food or drinks, but the gesture. When you celebrate victories and milestones, and even just the occasional Tuesday, you’re showing employees that you appreciate their hard work and personal contributions.

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