How to Keep the Best Talent

In a previous article we spoke about hiring the best talents. As we said, hiring talents is a very tough task, but it is just a start to creating a solid workforce. Around the world, organizations lose billions of dollars every year in both time and productivity, due to high employee turnover. So, the next step is once hired how to keep them, or rather how to motivate them to stay and to perform at their best.


Key employee retention is critical to the long-term health and success of any company. Business owners agree that retaining your best employees ensures customer satisfaction, product sales, satisfied staff and deepen organizational knowledge and learning. If owners know this so well, why do they behave in ways that so frequently encourage great employees just to quit their jobs?


Here are a few tips or tactics that might be helpful, so you can retain your best employees:


  1. Find out what motivates employees to stay – When an employee is quitting, most companies perform what is called exit interviews, which is a good way to learn why that professional is leaving. Of course, this is important, but for that specific individual it is already too late. How about asking longer-tenured employees why they stay? You could ask some exploratory questions such as: what motivated you to come to work here? Why have you decided to stay with us? What would make you leave? What about your managers? What would you change or improve? Then, use that information to strengthen your employee retention strategies;


  1. Make it clear what is expected from your employees every day – It may seem basic, but even in small companies, employees have a wide range of responsibilities. If they don’t know exactly what their jobs entail and what you need from them, they can’t perform up to the standard. Changing expectations keeps people on the edge and create unhealthy stress. They rob the employee of internal security and make him/her feel unsuccessful. It’s true that jobs and responsibilities won’t remain static, but it’s crucial to provide a specific framework within which people clearly know what is expected from them. Be sure you have job descriptions, so your employees know what is required of them. If there are changes that need to be made, don’t expect them to learn that by themselves.  You must communicate directly and clearly.  Good employees want to please you, but they need to know what it is they need to do to make that happen. Whenever it’s possible, promote from within. And give employees a clear path of advancement. Employees will become frustrated and may stop trying if they see no clear future for themselves at your company. Make expectations and goals of the company clear to everybody;


  1. Reward, recognize and appreciate your staff members – they must feel that, since this is so critical to retention success. Frequently saying a single and earnest thank you goes a long way. Although we all know that work is about the money and almost every individual wants more, it is also true that money is not However, monetary rewards, bonuses and gifts make the thank you even more appreciated. Understandable raises, tied to accomplishments and achievement, also help retain staff. Break down the commissions and bonus structures, and make them straightforward and easily calculated on a daily basis, what raise motivation and help retain staff. In addition, consider offering stock options or other financial rewards for employees who meet performance goals and stay for a predetermined time period, say, three or five years. Also, provide meaningful annual raises. Nothing quenches employee enthusiasm more than a negligible raise. If you can afford it, give more to your top performers. Or, if you don’t want to be stuck with large permanent increases, create a bonus structure where employees can earn an annual extra if they meet prespecified performance goals. Allow them to feel secure in their job. Greet them by their name, letting them know that you know who they are and what their contributions are to the company.  Get their input about rules or changes that may need to be made.  Encourage goal-setting and let them make their own choices as often as possible;


  1. Provide your team with tools and training – When an employee is not performing as expected, you should ask yourself – what part of the work system is causing this person to fail? Most of the time, when the employee knows what he/she is supposed to do, the answer to that question is lack of training, tools, time, temperament or talent or else, a combination of these elements. These are the easiest problems to solve and yet they affect employee retention the most. Unfortunately, some business owners learn the hard way that the workforce must have the necessary means to do their job well, or they will move on to an employer who provides them. Give them opportunities to grow and learn, and let your employees know there is room for advancement in your company. When possible, offer tuition for continuing education classes.  Give challenging and stimulating work.  Use their passion and allow them to focus their time and energy on projects they can enjoy.  Let them know what career development plans you may have for them and what opportunities are available for them to grow with the company. Help them grow and they will help your company grow.


Take a look at your organization and ask yourself – am I doing my best to retain the top talent? Use the tips above and some others you may find useful to retain your key employees and to attract the best talent too. Keep in mind that successful people want to work for a winning team, so cherish and value your top human capital. You’ll be rewarded, not only with a strong employee retention rate, but also with loyal employees who contribute to your organization’s success – for the long-term.


This article is for general, indicative purpose only and should not be considered investment advice. Florida Connexion is not liable for any financial loss, damage, expense or costs arising from your investment decisions based on this article.


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