How to hold onto your star employees and keep them happy.
By Marty McGhie
Many years ago, while I was in graduate school (no, I’m not disclosing how many years), one of our professors asked us to identify the most valuable asset to a business. The range of answers from the students was predictable – cash, current assets, equipment, buildings, etc. He then surprised us by saying we were all wrong. The most valuable assets you will find in your place of business are not even on the company balance sheet – they’re the employees.
I’ve recalled that statement many times over the years, and the more experience I have in business, the more truthful it becomes. When our business has struggled, there has often been a direct correlation to a higher-than-average employee turnover. Conversely, when we’ve managed to keep a consistent workforce, we’ve typically enjoyed higher levels of success. So, what are some ways you can create an environment that will minimize employee turnover for your business?
It would be naïve to think that you can avoid employee departure altogether. Every business will inevitably experience some turnover, regardless of the situation. The real goal is to figure out how to retain your top employees. The simple answer is that you must create a positive, dynamic, and enriching workplace where your employees feel safe, are challenged, receive fair compensation, and can experience personal growth. So, how do you develop such an environment?
Creating a safe place for an employee really means fostering a workplace where open communication is a regular part of the business. Your employees should never feel reluctant – or worse, threatened – by sharing open, honest communication with anyone on your management team. Great employees want to make a difference in your business. In order to do that, they must be able to share their thoughts and ideas on a regular basis – even if those ideas could be critical of you or of the business and may be difficult for you to hear. As a manager or owner of a business, if you’re interested in consistent improvement, you must establish a system of honest communication. Only then will you experience positive growth with your business while simultaneously establishing an environment where your employees are consistently contributing to its growth.
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