Much has been said about the best methods of finding and hiring the ideal candidates for your company, but retaining top talent is just as important. The following strategies help strengthen your ties to your company’s best workers and keep them engaged for years to come.
Keeping great employees starts with hiring great employees. A bad hire can have lasting repercussions so make sure you do your homework, particularly when hiring for high profile positions. Do a thorough job of screening your applicants and make sure they have more than just the skills to get the job done. Many companies are turning to Facebook and other social media to better understand their top candidates and gauge how well they fit culturally.
Additionally, talented people like to work with other talented individuals. Strong, successful leaders will engender loyalty and dedication from their peers and subordinates.
Say "Thank You"
Though many consider it a small thing, actually saying “Thank You” can mean the world to your employees. They want to know that their efforts are appreciated, and this simple gesture acknowledges their work and accomplishments. Saying thanks engages employees and encourages them to give their
best. It keeps your talent motivated and looking for opportunities to do more.
And don’t say thanks; show your thanks with your actions. Many managers offer gift cards, movie passes or a day off when employees complete big projects or reach certain milestones.
Stop and Listen
As a manager, it’s your job to see that things get done; however, you shouldn’t focus so much on the task at hand that you ignore or marginalize the suggestions and concerns of your employees. When it comes down to it, your employees generally want what’s best for the company, too. Although they may see things differently, their opinions are just as important (especially to them) as yours.
Even when you can’t change or fix the issue, taking time to listen to their thoughts shows employees that they are a valued part of the team.
Encourage Professional Advancement
The dead-end job is the bane of all employees, as no one wants to feel like their career has nowhere to go. When this happens, your employees will generally go down one of two paths: 1) Leave for another job or 2) Begin mailing it in day after day.
Don’t let your employees feel like they’re in a rut. Show them that their growth is important by taking advantage of applicable trainings and certifications, and give them opportunities to use newfound skills and techniques. Be sure you are mentoring your best employees, and share with them your vision for their future with your company.
Make it Personal
Believe it or not, your employees are people too, and many of them have families, challenges and other activities outside of the workplace. Stay within appropriate boundaries (don’t turn it into a social hour), but get to know your employees beyond their name and job function. Showing a genuine interest in who they are outside of the office humanizes the office, and it helps employees feel like part of a team, not part of a machine.