Employee retention and turnover are important terms to every business owner and leader. But sometimes the driving factors behind why employees leave aren’t fully grasped or addressed by leadership, and if that disconnect persists, the business suffers while some of the best employees beat a path to the door.
“Leaders know that it’s vital to attract good talent, but knowing how to keep good talent involves an important process that leaders must learn and practice,” says Steve Baker (www.greatgame.com), a business coach, vice president of The Great Game of Business Inc., and co-author with Rich Armstrong of GET IN THE GAME: How To Create Rapid Financial Results And Lasting Cultural Change.
“Making employee retention a priority for your company is essential for continual growth, success, and sustainability.”
Baker and Armstrong offer 10 tips to business leaders and managers on how they can retain their best employees. Make employees feel they’re part of something special. “In the same way that you promote the value proposition of your products and services to potential customers, you should do the same with employees, only focusing on your attributes as an employer,” Armstrong says. “Inclusivity and pride are feelings you can leverage to help them understand that working for your organization is a unique opportunity.”
Emphasize the purpose and meaning of the work. “The outstanding employees you seek to hire and retain have special talents, skills, and drive,” Baker says. “Make it clear to them that what they are doing benefits both the company and your customers in important ways.”
Ensure deserving team members are rewarded. Successful companies reward employees who go above and beyond. “Recognition, bonuses, and promotions demonstrate your respect and appreciation for hard-working team members,” Armstrong says.
Give employees more responsibility. One of the most effective employee retention strategies is to give them greater responsibility to make a bigger difference. “This starts with financial literacy training and continues with regular updates on business statistics like profits and revenue, and details on how their efforts are moving the needle,” Baker says.
Surround employees with other talented workers. People like to be a part of teams that are built for success. “By creating groups of skilled and motivated workers,” Armstrong says, “you can tap into a competitive and cooperative partnership that will benefit the business as a whole.”
Mentor employees. “When you prioritize personal growth and development,” Baker says, “employees see that their careers are going somewhere and that their organization’s interests are aligned with their own.”
Nurture trust in leadership. All great relationships are built on trust, and the workplace is no different. “Outstanding employees will stay if they trust leadership,” Armstrong says, “and that trust grows from leaders being honest, open, and interested in their team members.”
Get employees emotionally invested. People are passionate about the things they have helped create. “The more you engage employees in the development of the organization,” Baker says, “the more emotionally invested they become and the more likely they are to stay.”
Create a positive work culture. “If you create a drama-free environment where honesty and integrity matter, your employee retention rate will rise,” Armstrong says.
Provide competitive compensation. “None of the other retention strategies matter if you continue to underpay an employee,” Baker says. “It is important to stay on top of what constitutes fair compensation in your industry.”
“Increasing employee retention and keeping it at a high level is challenging,” says Armstrong, “but you can start by getting your people in the same game the owner is: the game of business.
“You can build a winning culture by creating a business of business people. Allowing employees to contribute to a greater good and valuing their contribution inspires loyalty and commitment. At the end of the day, it’s all about creating a winning company and a company of winners.”
Rich Armstrong (www.greatgame.com) is the president of The Great Game of Business Inc., and co-author, with Steve Baker, of GET IN THE GAME: How To Create Rapid Financial Results And Lasting Cultural Change. This book is the how-to application of Jack Stack’s 1992 bestseller, The Great Game of Business. Armstrong and Baker co-authored the update of Stack’s book in The Great Game of Business – 20th Anniversary Edition. Armstrong has nearly 30 years of experience in improving business performance and employee engagement through the practice of open-book management and employee ownership.
Steve Baker (www.greatgame.com) is the vice president of The Great Game of Business Inc., and is a top-rated, sought-after speaker and coach on the subjects of open-book management, strategy, and execution, leadership, and employee engagement. Baker is a career marketing and branding professional and an award-winning artist.