Employee Retention Strategies for Keeping Your Top Talent

Employee Retention Strategies for Keeping Your Top Talent feature image

When you want to truly be at the top of your industry, retaining talented employees must become a top concern. It is possible to gain good employees with a competitive salary range, but many other companies may be able to match that salary. Great companies often shine the best for attracting top talent when they are willing to combine competitive compensation with benefits and perks. Here are just a few ways to make sure your top talent recruits want to come to your business and then stay at your business long-term.

Excellent Retirement Matches and Plans

The best employees will be looking holistically at offers from other companies when they are deciding whether to stay or go at your business. If they get an excellent match and lots of useful options for their retirement accounts, they will factor those extra compensation pieces into their calculus. interestingly, this is a cheaper way to benefit your employees, since not everyone will take advantage of the match, whereas raising salaries has no such small discount for the employer. Your retirement match benefits your most prepared and savvy employees slightly more, which makes it a great place to outshine the competition in employee retention strategies.

Clear Paths Toward Greater Leadership and Growth

One of the biggest reasons why high-talent individuals start job hunting is if they don't see their path to growth. You don't necessarily have to advance high performers immediately, but they do need to know, from the beginning, that there's room for them to shine and move up over time. The more clear the timeline/achievement ladder is, the easier it is for high-talent employees to value sticking around. If they see that, for instance, anyone with seniority achieves manager after a certain amount of years, rather than focusing promotions on those who achieve results, they may be less excited to stay at your workplace.

Opportunities for Customizing One's Job or Projects

If there isn't a lot of upward mobility over the years for your employees, another way to keep your talented employees on staff is to allow the high achievers to take their pick of projects. Obviously, you'll have some projects that you absolutely must assign to the specialist who can handle it, but when an option between projects exists, one major way to curry favor with talented employees is to let them weigh in on the decision. This isn't without its pitfalls, since creating equitable policies is important and you don't want to create the expectation that talented employees only have to do work they like. That being said, project choice can become a well-regulated perk if administered thoughtfully.

Flexible Schedules, Including 4 Day Workweeks and Reduced Hours

A great way to offer a perk without spending additional money to retain employees is to create a flexible schedule system. It can be an option that you grant the entire staff as a general retention measure, or you can tie it to a certain set of conditions, like high yearly performance reviews or high project output. The way you offer flexibility depends on the needs of your company, but here are just a few ways to create this valued perk:

  • Allow workers to start and end on their own timeframes, not based on particular business hours.
  • Let workers choose a schedule of 30 hours a week in order to maximize their output for those hours and achieve work-life balance.
  • Allow workers to work a 4 day workweek in order to have 3 days completely away from the work environment.
  • A combination of remote work and in-person work, or the option for entirely remote work, both appeal to many individuals, especially those with long commutes or who have reasons to move away from your office.

Buy-In Via Stock, Commission, or A Bonus Structure

Many employees really value the stability of a standard salary, guaranteeing an amount of money they'll take home for sure each two-week period or every month. However, for very high performers, knowing they make the exact same amount no matter how hard they work can sometimes be disincentivizing, making them work "about as hard as everyone else" rather than inspiring them to great heights.

Whether you offer stock options, where the company's performance grows the value of the stock, or commission for work achieved, your high-achieving employees will be able to up their own payment by performing at their peak capacity. Bonuses that are tied both to how well an individual performer does and how well the company does, in general, can be highly motivating, and sticking around for quarterly or yearly bonuses can be an incentive for restless employees to wait out their current interest in moving on, rediscovering their love for your place of work.

Highly Competent Management

As much as this may seem obvious, if you have middle layers of management between you and your employees, their behavior has a huge impact on whether you retain your employees or not. This should be basic and not a perk or benefit, but if you need a good reason to keep only stellar managers, it's employee retention strategies! You want your employees to feel like there is someone who listens to them, helps them grow, helps them connect the dots to succeed, and keeps anyone who isn't succeeding on a path to growth or, when need be, lets that individual go. These simple features of great management are enough to help many high performers think twice before abandoning ship, and they can be the exact factors that make an employee start surfing job sites.

Ask Them!

Employee retention strategies take different forms in different companies, but each individual high performer is going to have a different answer to the question, "What would make you want to stick around?" By committing to a community where you ask what employees want and need, you make it easier to pinpoint your benefits and perks to the things that actually move the needle for your employees. You don't have to break the bank to keep great employees around!

Nicholas Rempel