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8 Ways to Retain Your Best People

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Retaining employees is a crucial element in the success of any company, and that's not new.

As a leader within your organization, you already know that retaining employees helps reduce turnover costs and allows the leadership team to focus on implementing the company's strategy.

When a company loses its top performers, regardless of their position, valuable time is spent recruiting new candidates instead of working towards meeting goals. As more employees leave, the workload falls on fewer individuals, decreasing overall productivity due to insufficient staff. 

Although it may sometimes feel like an uphill battle, which may not always be within your control, depending on your industry and role, there are proven methods to keep employees engaged and committed for longer. One such way is through retention programs, such as comprehensive training. I have learned from experience that retaining talented individuals requires additional effort from the leadership team and should be an integral part of the business strategy. 

Even if you already implement many of these practices, it is worthwhile to delve deeper into your current approaches to identify areas where your company can take further action to keep your best people. 

1. Get to know your employees and be aware of what's going on in their lives outside of work.

One of the most important leadership responsibilities is understanding your employees' needs, desires, and motivations. Show you care by asking them about their life outside work periods and whether they have any goals or interests that don't directly relate to work – do this anytime during the day! Before you say it, I'm not suggesting you try to be friends with employees outside of work. There's a difference between being friendly and caring and being friends.

Showing an interest in what matters to people builds a connection with those around us, making it more likely for them to stay on board. Showing an interest is a start, but then really apply what you learn about their aspirations to help them accomplish their goals.

2. Communicate in multiple formats to inform people of change

Empower staff members to view change as an opportunity to improve by teaching them new skills and ways to further their personal development. At the same time, acknowledging that certain adjustments will be complex, support and sympathize with them during this period. Be open and honest when making significant adjustments so that people know beforehand what to expect. Communication is essential to utilize email, team applications, bulletin boards, and any other tool available to inform individuals of changes. As you attempt to engage individuals in the shift and help them adjust to a new normal, sincerely consider their worries and remove any obstacles.

3. Create an environment where people can thrive as part of a team

Understanding the different needs and perspectives that each person brings to the table is crucial. Utilizing your team members in the process and allowing them to have a voice will help them feel they are part of something bigger and meaningful. Ensuring everyone understands how their contributions make them valuable is just one way to help them feel fulfilled by what they contribute. People want meaningful work.

4. Provide opportunities for development and growth

Often the best employees are hard to keep if they feel stagnant. Provide employees with opportunities for growth and development, including cross-training them in new skills so they don't feel stuck any longer than necessary! Great workers know what their job is worth on the open market; if you want to keep your best people around, then be prepared to give them a competitive salary, additional training, or other projects that broaden their skills and make staying worthwhile.

Recognize employee contributions with periodic special rewards and give credit where it is due in routine communications (e.g., videos, newsletters, annual reports, etc.). Acknowledge employees who were key contributors to a successful project.

5. Offer benefits that are competitive with the market

Allowing employees flexibility can help them have a more enjoyable work environment while meeting company goals. Consider offering mental wellness days and letting employees work from home (even if it's only for part of the week). Diversify the benefit options you offer, such as daycare, healthy eating programs, and other wellness programs that help them balance work and personal life.

6. Have clear objectives, deadlines, expectations, and feedback

Meet every week with everyone involved in your project to set clear goals and expectations, keep your finger on the pulse, and know when one of them needs help or has a great idea to implement into the process.

Without specific goals and deadlines, people tend to make their priorities, which may not match the company's goals. These weekly meetings will also provide an opportunity for feedback from the team to make you aware of any challenges that come up so you can do your job and clear the way for them to be more productive.

7. Create an environment where people can be themselves

One of the best ways to foster loyalty and engagement is by creating an environment where people feel valued, understood, and appreciated for their unique perspectives. When they can be themselves in a space that values them as individuals with different strengths than others, it's easier for everyone to work together towards success. Participating in fun and engaging programs such as True Colors training enables individuals to develop an understanding and acceptance of others based on their unique qualities. Learning to collaborate with diverse personalities effectively can create a positive work environment. This, in turn, fosters employee satisfaction and enhances the organization's overall success.

Employees tend to like working somewhere where they feel valued by management who understand them on some level – so, get to know your team, and don't forget to add a little fun at work!

8. Be obsessive about a positive recruitment experience for candidates

Creating a positive recruitment experience is one of the best ways to recruit and retain top talent. With more people looking for jobs than ever before; it's essential to create an engaging process from start to finish where candidates feel welcomed and appreciated at every step. If they don't get hired this time,

they may reapply or become some of your most loyal customers if given excellent treatment throughout the interview process. Remember, your employees are watching how you treat each candidate; these high standards will trickle down through all aspects of your business, including customer service, which can lead to better sales opportunities! Your recruitment process is another representation of your brand.

Your company's culture and retention are dependent upon the leadership team. They must manage change, understand individual employees' needs and desires, and provide opportunities for development and growth while not overlooking their goals. Don't forget your leadership team is also composed of employees with their own needs.

Create an inclusive company culture so that people feel safe enough to bring all of themselves into the workplace while celebrating differences. Great cultures = great companies.