It has become abundantly clear over the past few years that employees with unique skills have a profound impact on the success of a business. It stands to reason that you need to do what you can to keep them happy, keep them motivated, and ultimately, keep them in your business.

A lot of business owners believe that compensation is the key to all this keeping. And there’s proof of this in senior level positions, where mind-boggling rewards are paid out. However, while this strategy does work for some, those truly talented people aren’t highly motivated by money.

So, if you can’t compensate your extraordinary people into staying and giving their best, how are you meant to retain them?

Find the Right Motivations

Knowing how to keep your talented employees in your business comes down to understanding their needs and wants. Of course, people want to be renumerated fairly and enjoy financial perks – I’m not saying that money isn’t important. But I am saying that it’s no longer enough.

In my experience, there are three main motivations.

The first is that people want to feel that their ideas are valued. In short, people want to know that they have a voice that will be heard. When an employee feels that their contributions are more likely to be dismissed, they tend to get frustrated and before long, you’ll find that they’re seeking out a work environment that listens to them.

Another key motivation is their need for development. One of the best ways to win a star employee’s loyalty and avoid them taking their skills to another business is by helping them grow and providing them with the resources and tools required for them to achieve this growth.

Lastly, people want to be recognised. The reality is that your rising stars spend a lot of their time doing difficult things. They work extremely hard, often using complicated processes or tools, to achieve a specific outcome. That’s why it’s so important to praise your top talent, or you run the risk of them becoming resentful and drifting away.

At the base of all this, I would say that a powerful employee retention strategy is all about showing that you care – know your people and treat them as they want to be treated.

10 Strategies That Show You Care

The question is, what can you do as a leader to engage with your employees in a professional capacity and motivate them to remain loyal to your business? How do you show that you care in a way that feeds employee loyalty?

Here are 10 strategies to inspire you:

  1. Provide fair and accurate feedback and encourage their input and feedback.
  2. Praise your employees, especially in performance reviews where you can emphasise their strengths.

  3. Clarify performance expectations and don’t micromanage.

  4. Leverage employee “fit”.

  5. Help employees find solutions for day-to-day challenges.

  6. Amplify positive organisational traits and filter negative effects.

  7. Connect employees with their contributions and the business’ success.

  8. Instill a performance culture that relies heavily on open communication, flexibility, and innovation, and provide support for risk-taking.

  9. Connect employees with talented coworkers.

  10. Demonstrate a credible commitment to employee development by offering opportunities to grow.

What I’ve found over the years is that the best way to support and retain your employees is to talk to them. Understand what they need, and within the realm of what is possible, facilitate this and reap the rewards of happy, extraordinary employees who want to be in your business and are invested in its success.

Talk to me about how we can develop an employee retention strategy that works for your business today.