How to Keep Your Key Players in the Game

Any hiring manager will tell you that the cost of turnover in your company is anything but inexpensive. Productivity suffers greatly when a department can’t gain momentum because of constantly having to search for, interview, hire, and train new team members. In this day and age, employees are becoming less and less patient when it comes to unpleasant working conditions, so it is crucial for you as the employer to pay close attention to how you are earning their loyalty and engaging them in the overarching vision of the company. Here are some helpful tips for doing so.

1. Be fair and even generous with regards to their salary and benefits.

A laborer is worthy of his wages, and any employer playing the part of Scrooge will find himself in a constant cycle of re-hiring as his best employees leave for jobs that compensate them fairly for their skills and hard work. Tough periods may force you to tighten the purse strings a bit, and loyal employees will definitely stick with you through those lean times, but just make sure it doesn’t become the norm.

2. Don’t micromanage your employees.

After all, the whole reason you hired them in the first place was so they could take care of things you can’t. If they feel free to manage their responsibilities in the most productive and innovative way they can, you’ll be amazed at how much is accomplished on a daily basis. Clearly communicate the parameters of the assignment, special items to note, and what the final product should look like, and then turn them loose to get it done the way that works best for them.

3. Share the vision for the company and how each person individually contributes to it.

Remind them of what a vital piece of the puzzle they are. Give them opportunities to embrace and take ownership of the vision as their own, so that what they promote will be something they truly believe in and not just jargon they’ve heard you quote.

4. Give them opportunities to be honest and offer input.

Too many employers have found out the extent of their key players discontentment after they have turned in their resignation letter. Work hard to create an environment and a safe place where employees are able to respectfully offer good, productive ideas and air their grievances. This will also limit the amount of divisive gossip that runs rampant through so many organizations, because the employees are invited to come straight to you to resolve issues rather than just complaining about them to their coworkers.

5. Don’t create pointless rules.

Make sure your policies have valid and beneficial reasoning behind them, and don’t be afraid to make changes whenever necessary. Many standard operating procedures that worked a decade ago are outmoded, senseless, and just need to be thrown out the window. This will prevent a lot of frustration for your employees and allow them to focus on their jobs.

6. Promote a pleasant (or even fun) environment.

Make it enjoyable for your employees to come to work each day. A bit of lighthearted fun can actually raise everyone’s morale, thereby stimulating further productivity and cooperation. Now remember, each company culture should be unique, so don’t try to adopt something that doesn’t fit with who you are, but always look for ways to make your employees excited to be a part of the team.

7. Thank them for a job well done.

Praise is a powerful motivator, because it tells your employees that they’re needed and you couldn’t make it happen without them. Making your employees feel appreciated for their hard work is a vital part of earning their continued loyalty. Be sure that your praise is sincere and specific, and don’t be afraid to go out of your way to honor someone who has really gone above and beyond.

This certainly isn’t an exhaustive list of tips for employee retention, but hopefully it will remind you of a few key things that make or will make you a great company to work for. Keeping your best players in the game is profitable for everyone involved, and any investment you make towards this end is definitely worth it.

Any other ideas to add here? Feel free to post your comment below.