Holding on to top performing workers is critical to the success of any organisation. Retaining top talent helps to maintain organisational knowledge and improve staff morale. From customer satisfaction to sales growth, key employee retention also brings a wealth of business benefits.

Conversely, failing to retain top performers can be costly. High employee turnover drains human and financial resources and can limit productivity. In some cases, the costs incurred by finding and training a replacement can be more than the departing employee’s salary.

While many may assume that poor salary is the most likely reason for an employee to hand in their notice, in reality, there are a number of contributing factors. From ineffective management to a lack of advancement opportunities, there are numerous reasons why a worker will go elsewhere. As such, employee retention strategies should incentivise top performers to stay put. Take a look at our list of effective strategies to help ensure your talent stays on side:

1. Improve prospects

Job satisfaction for many people is determined by career development. Investing in employees, by offering opportunities to learn new skills or improve knowledge, demonstrates a commitment to career progression. From paying for employees to attend conferences to implementing in-house training programmes, a valued employee should always be offered the opportunity to develop. Without that opportunity or the potential for internal promotion, top performers will either outgrow their roles or stagnate. A dead-end job won’t encourage talent to stay put.

2. Establish expectations

Effective communication is of the utmost importance. If employees don’t have a clear grasp of their job duties or the performance metrics by which they’re evaluated, at best, it can be frustrating and at worst, damaging to morale. Feeling flummoxed by company policies and procedures can lead some to look for employment elsewhere. Regular reviews or evaluations are of great benefit. One to one meetings allow for guidance to be given and goals to be set.

Similarly, when employees feel able to speak their minds, share ideas and address grievances, morale improves significantly. Transparent and respectful communication enhances trust in management and paves the way for engagement in company ethos. This engagement is key to maintaining job satisfaction. It’s important to provide team members with varied tasks, stimulating assignments and opportunities to make a difference within the organisation.


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3. Create a comfortable environment

Employees should feel safe and comfortable at work. As such, the office environment should be properly ventilated, well-lit and set at a comfortable temperature. Several studies have proven that morale can suffer in an uncomfortable office environment, whereas an inspiring workplace can boost employee happiness.

It’s not simply a matter of making the working environment a safe and healthy place. Staff will thrive in good working conditions. From better workstations to break-out areas, investing in the office environment will improve morale. Low morale can impact negatively on performance and consequently, productivity. If employees are unhappy and uninspired, a drop in productivity is inevitable.

Encourage feedback from staff to ensure the workplace is not only efficient and functional but also meeting their needs. Dwindling productivity can be a sign that the working environment isn’t up to scratch. A poorly planned workspace will have a negative impact on performance and morale. Uplifting lighting, superior facilities and flexible workspaces can all transform disconsolate staff into happy and productive employees. A well-designed and comfortable office will encourage top performers to stay put.


4. Reward hard work

Employees spend much of their daily lives at work helping to boost a business’ bottom line. As such, it’s essential that staff feel respected and valued. From treating employees fairly to listening to their ideas, it’s important to ensure employees feel valued.

Team members should be praised for jobs well done and for the effort they put into their work. Praising employees for completing performance goals is one of the most effective ways to make them feel valued. A simple thank you goes without saying. However, from bonuses to pay rises, greater rewards can be given. Rewards that provide actual value to employees’ lives will make them want to stay with you.


5. Don’t pile on the pressure

No amount of benefits, however, can compensate for overburdening employees. Overwork will lead to a loss of focus. Employees won’t want to commit to a company if they are constantly overworked. As such, no member of the team should be asked to do too much. Management should model healthy work-life behaviours to encourage team members to feel comfortable doing the same. Reducing workloads won’t lead to a plummet in productivity. In fact, a reduction in the stress associated with overwork can actually result in greater productivity.

Solicit your employees for insights into what compels them to stay. This will enable you to identify those strategies that contribute to employee retention. Allow this feedback to shape and improve internal policies. Appraise your organisation and establish whether you’re likely to keep hold of your hard workers. Employ these top tips to help retain key employees and attract top talent too.

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