How To Retain Outstanding Employees

Nidhi Nair
February 21, 2023
employee development, hybrid work, office culture, people operations, HR

How To Retain Outstanding Employees

Every business wants to retain its top employees, but this can be quite the challenge. Employee turnover can cost companies time and money, and disrupt productivity. Additionally, it can make your business look like a less appealing place to work. Businesses need to provide the resources and support necessary to keep top talent around. In this blog, we’ll be outlining seven tips for keeping your best employees on board and engaged.

Why Managers Care More About Retention

Managers care about retention because they understand how costly and difficult it can be to hire and onboard new employees. When you have to replace an employee, time and resources have to be dedicated to finding a new hire, getting them onboarded and training them up to the level the previous employee was already at. Current employees already know how to perform their job effectively, and retaining them is much easier than replacing them.

As you’re training new employees, productivity can dip as your typical processes are disrupted. In short, retaining your best employees is essential if you want a high-performing workplace, a positive work culture and a stable business model. Plus, high employee retention will make you an attractive place to work when you need to scale up and hire for new roles. Top talent prefers to seek out businesses that treat their workers well.

Who Are Your Best Performers in the Workplace?

Put simply, your best performers are the employees who perform at a high level and improve your company. These employees may have tangible and intangible skills that set them apart. For instance, a top performer may consistently reach objectives ahead of time. Or they may be a great leader that inspires other employees and increases morale. They’re also engaged with their work and genuinely interested in the goals of the company. 

Top performers are driven, motivated and reliable individuals. They typically need very little direction and can problem-solve at a high level. They also have interpersonal skills that allow them to get along well with other team members. These top employees lift all boats, so it’s important to retain them and recognize them. With that being said, let’s dive into some tips to help your business do just that.

7 Tips To Keep Your Top Talent

Here are the seven tips we’ll be covering to retain your top talent:

  1. Offer competitive compensation and benefits packages
  2. Foster a positive work environment and culture
  3. Provide opportunities for career growth and development
  4. Show appreciation for their work and give them the autonomy to do their jobs
  5. Encourage work-life balance and be understanding of personal commitments
  6. Be transparent in communication and decision-making
  7. Offer a clear path for advancement within the company

Let’s take a deeper dive into each of these tips:

1. Offer competitive compensation and benefits packages.

Modern businesses need to offer enticing compensation and benefits packages if they want to stay competitive. If an individual is a top performer, they don’t have to settle for companies that are unwilling to recognize their talent. When employees feel properly compensated and rewarded for their efforts, they’re much more likely to stay at a company. Take a close look at your salaries, bonuses and incentives to make sure they’re up to par with your industry, or above average. If you want to attract and retain top talent, it has to be worth their while.

For benefits, many modern businesses offer healthcare, 401k match, flexible work arrangements, generous vacation and even profit-sharing. Salary is important, but a comprehensive benefits package can differentiate you from competitors offering similar pay ranges.

2. Foster a positive work environment and culture.

No one wants to dread going to work. Companies need to create a positive work environment and culture for their employees. This means encouraging collaboration, promoting inclusivity and making sure employees are engaged. Every worker should feel comfortable communicating openly and providing feedback to management. Employees should also be respectful of each other and make sure everyone feels welcome.

Management can also improve the work environment by creating a culture that builds trust and loyalty among team members. To keep top talent engaged, it’s also important to celebrate wins and accomplishments. Additionally, managers should get to know employees on an individual level, making sure to take a vested interest in their wants, needs and goals for their careers.

The business is a better place to work for everyone when team members feel heard and are treated with respect. Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and taking steps to show that appreciation helps to maximize employee retention.

3. Provide opportunities for career growth and development.

Companies should strive to provide employees with opportunities for career growth and development. If top performers feel like they’re stagnating or not getting the opportunities they deserve, they’re likely to move on and seek work elsewhere.

You can provide opportunities for employees by giving them resources for training and education. This could mean in-house training modules, sending them to seminars, tuition reimbursement or anything that helps them further their skills.

Companies also need to regularly check in with employees to talk about their goals and vision for advancement in the company. By setting regular meetings with management, you can outline timelines and objectives for them to reach promotions and get the position they want in the company. If you want to retain employees, you have to be willing to let them evolve and grow in their roles.

Top performers are naturally ambitious. They want to know that their efforts and accomplishments are leading to something. If you’re not providing them with opportunities and feedback, they’re going to feel neglected.

4. Show appreciation for their work and give them the autonomy to do their jobs.

Businesses should always express their appreciation for a job well done. Make sure you’re acknowledging good work and rewarding them for achieving goals and objectives. Employees aren’t going to stay motivated or engaged if their work is going unnoticed.

Furthermore, good workers deserve a measure of trust from companies. Meaning employees should feel like they have the autonomy to perform their duties. Helicopter management styles feel intrusive and make employees feel like they’re not trusted to do their work. Let your employees take ownership of their work and empower them to come up with creative solutions and strategies. Not only does this keep employees happy and engaged, but it could potentially lead to higher levels of productivity with solutions that your business hasn’t considered before.

5. Encourage work-life balance and be understanding of personal commitments.

Encouraging a healthy work-life balance is one of the most important things a business can do. Employees want to feel like they can enjoy their life and that their life doesn’t revolve around their job. Businesses resistant to this idea will lose top employees to businesses that allow employees to enjoy their lives outside of work.

A great way to promote a healthy work-life balance is by offering flexible hours and remote work options. When employees have more control over their schedule and their work environment, they’ll feel more comfortable and will be more likely to stay at the company.

Additionally, companies should be understanding and respectful of personal commitments. Employees should be able to leave work when they have doctor’s appointments, family matters or anything else they deem to be a personal need. Preventing employees from taking this time off shows a lack of respect for their time and needs. When you understand and appreciate your employees, they’ll be much happier and more engaged with the business. 

Sick days and vacation days shouldn’t be restrictive either. Employees should feel free to use their earned vacation time when they want to, rather than feeling pressured to structure it around certain times of the year. Also, employees should feel comfortable taking off when they’re sick, without feeling guilty or anxious that taking off will lead to a negative outcome.

6. Be transparent in communication and decision-making.

Companies should always seek to be transparent with employees, especially when making a decision that could affect their job. This means that businesses should be clear with their expectations and update team members on any upcoming changes. Ideally, it also means that businesses will involve employees in the decision-making whenever possible. When employees feel like their opinions matter, they feel respected. They also trust their employer knowing that they have the full picture of everything going on in the business.

Make sure you’re fostering this open and honest communication by scheduling regular meetings. These meetings should have open time for employees to express concerns and provide feedback on decisions being made. When employees feel comfortable expressing their questions and concerns, they’re more likely to stay with a company.

It’s especially important to be transparent when bad news arises. Businesses won’t have all good news all the time. When you have to deliver bad news, make sure to do it with the same level of transparency and honesty. Explain why the change is happening and open the floor for any questions employees might have. This helps you retain your top performers through both the good and bad times.

7. Offer a clear path for advancement within the company.

As mentioned, most top employees aren’t content to rest on their laurels. If you want to keep them around for a long time, make sure to come up with a path for advancement for them. Also, make sure that’s a path they’re wanting to take. Ask them where they ultimately see themselves in the company and make an actionable plan to make that happen. Top employees love to challenge themselves, so allow them to do so.

It’s much easier to retain top employees when they can advance in their organization, take on new roles and be appropriately compensated for their work. Remember employees need to feel motivated, engaged and validated when they’re part of a company. It's also important to regularly check in with your high-performing employees to see if there are any issues or concerns that need to be addressed, and to make sure they feel valued and supported in their roles.

By following these steps, your business will be more likely to retain top talent, rather than deal with high employee turnover.

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