Do This, Not That: How to Retain Employees

A company is only as good as its employees. When the time comes to find new talent, it is imperative to take the right approach to the recruitment and interview process. Sometimes, though, we forget that it’s after hiring someone that you really have to nurture them.

Once a person is “all in,” shift your approach to making sure they stick with the company for an extended period of time. Turnover is, by all accounts, costly and disruptive to the business. Part of what makes you a better leader is having those knowledgeable people around you that help you make sound decisions.

Simply put, companies that retain employees, especially those in key positions, increase their chances of achieving success. With so many opportunities in today’s business world, this is easier said than done.

Here are some key things to do (and not do) when it comes to retaining your company’s top talent:

Do This: Don’t wait to pay employees what they are worth. Think about it this way: if you wait long enough to give a raise, the person may already be thinking about moving on. Protecting against this is as simple as staying ahead of the curve. Pay the person what they are worth from day one. Furthermore, review their pay and offer raises (when appropriate) on an annual basis.

Not This: Let “bad” employees hang around. Call them bad. Call them toxic. Call them disruptive. You know what type of people we are talking about. These workers spread negativity, gossip about others, and don’t deliver on their work. And worst yet, they drag down the morale of others. One bad apple can demotivate an entire group of workers.

Do This: Show top workers that the sky is the limit. Nobody wants to be stuck in a dead end job. The top talent is always looking to take the next step up the corporate ladder. Make it clear early on that you believe in promoting from within. When the time comes, back this up by discussing open opportunities with your best employees. This can protect against a devoted employee leaving the company for a better title.

Not This: Ignore employee development. Employees want to know there is opportunity for development. Without this, workers can quickly lose their motivation to perform at a high level. If they feel they have reached their peak, their minds may start to wonder. When you talk with your employees, make sure you’re regularly giving them an idea about their future with the company. And ask them to come up with a plan for themselves. If it’s not a promotion, maybe it’s an opportunity to learn new skills.

Do This: Keep an open door. When you close yourself off from the rest of the company, it is difficult to get the pulse of your employees, including which ones are happy and which ones are not. If they feel engaged and that their input is valued, they’re more likely to stick around. As an added benefit, there’s a good chance they’ll have ideas on how you can grow the business.

Not This: Wasting their time on a regular basis. As you assign projects to your employees and analyze their duties, make sure everything they’re doing is driving the business forward. If they feel what they do doesn’t matter at the end of the day, it will make it harder for them to be motivated. You should be able to tell them why each thing they’re doing leads to more sales of your product or service.

With these strategies, you can improve your ability to retain your company’s top employees.

Motivated employees are willing to go the extra mile. They are willing to “take the bull by the horns” to ensure that the job gets done the right way. As the leader of a business, these are the types of employees you want.

Andy Roe is the General Manager of SurePayroll, Inc., a Paychex Company. SurePayroll is the trusted provider of easy online payroll services to small businesses nationwide. SurePayroll compiles data from small businesses nationwide through its Small Business Scorecard optimism survey, and exclusively reflects the trends affecting the nation's “micro businesses” — those with1-10 employees. You can follow Andy on Twitter @AndrewSRoe.

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