5 Tips for Keeping Your Top Talent

Karin Knutson ·

Jack Welch has a great quote, “The team with the best players wins.” For some, he could be referring to baseball or football, but in business we know the most important team is within the walls of your workplace. Your company likely spends lots of time and money finding people with the skill sets that most closely match your company culture, the challenge is keeping them.

What is the best approach keeping your best talent and avoiding having them swooped up by your competitors? What makes employees want to stay? Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Engaged employees are happy employees
  • Employees that are active participants in goal setting, projects and decision-making feel like a valued asset to the company. Ask for their input and encourage conversations whenever possible.

Make the expectations and goals of your company crystal clear

  • It is important to communicate directly and clearly. Good employees want to do their best, but they need direction and to know what is expected of them. Help develop “buy in” by the employee by keeping your message well defined. Also, encourage them to align their own goals to that of the company.

Provide opportunities for training and growth – advancement in the company

  • One of the statements we hear consistently from our clients is that their employees are asking for more or better training. Training is critical to keeping employees successful in their current job. Adding career ladders to the mix will serve as a reminder that there is room to grow within the company, which encourages focus and motivation. Let them explore other aspects to the company, if they have an interest in it. Know what their long term goals are and give them a path to achieve it within your company.

Recognize and reward good work

  • A monetary reward does not always keep the best employees. Acknowledge good work with a simple statement: “Great job, Emily. You did some really good work on that presentation.” A sincere acknowledgement can be a huge confidence booster and a great way to show appreciation and respect. Develop a “starts” board and recognize the people that have gone above and beyond, or just put in that extra effort that made someone’s day.

Trust in leadership is crucial

  • This is becoming one of the most critical pieces in the relationship between management and staff. We hear about this in many roundtables and leadership training events - employees need to know that leadership is working with them and in alignment to help reach their goals. Developing trust with your staff will make a huge impact on keeping your top performers.

Notice none of the above bullet points mentioned compensation. We are in a time where employees want to enjoy their work, feel valued and see an opportunity for growth. That is what makes them want to stay. Leadership and management play a huge role in ensuring that the company environment supports these concepts. Jack Welch meant something very poignant with his quote. The team with the best players usually does win, and even the best players need good coaches leading the way.

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