Retaining the Best and the Brightest

A large part of any business’ success depends on the contributions of its top employees. No matter how big or small a company is, it needs to focus significant effort on not only hiring, but also retaining the top talent that will drive it forward.

Some of the inter-industry factors that can encourage employees to leave a company include inflexible time-off policies, a lack of channels for employee feedback to management, outmoded compensation packages, and a culture of poor communication.

Your staff can only be their best when the rest of their lives are functioning well. Ensure that your policies for taking leave are firm enough to get a job done, but also flexible enough to allow your employees to attend significant family events and fulfill off-the-clock responsibilities such as child or elder care.

1. Keep your employees in the loop about workplace policies and changes. Walk the floor and talk to front-line staff on a regular basis. Ensure a consistent and effective communication chain in which all voices are heard.

2. Check to make sure your salary, benefits, and bonuses are at least on par with those of your competitors. Consider offering programs that will allow employees to share in the financial success of the company.

3. Humanize your workplace. Avoid bureaucratic-sounding, impersonal communication, many of which use the passive voice: “Your application for promotion to class A has been received.” Connect with other employees through emails and other written communications in a way that lets them know a human being is on the other side.

Remember that, even in a sluggish job market, your best employees will usually have a variety of options. When you earn and keep their loyalty, you avoid the high costs in time and money that come with recruiting and training their replacements.