Skilled employees are invaluable to your workforce. They consistently perform well, they operate with the best interests of the company in mind, and they help to facilitate company growth through creativity and initiative. By retaining them, they can save your company a lot of money in the long term. The process of bringing in a new employee can be costly considering all of the onboarding expenses. What’s more is that your new employees will need three to six months to begin performing their jobs with confidence and some degree of autonomy. So it’s in your best interest to keep highly skilled and experienced employees on board.
Allow for upward mobility
Employees who have ambitions beyond their current positions will need growth opportunities if you want them to stick around. Regularly evaluate your employees for raises and/or promotions. Even if an employee stays in the same position over the years, raises can be a generous way to demonstrate your appreciation for their loyalty to the company. Be a little more careful when offering promotions, though. While flattering, they may not be optimal if an employee would prefer to stay where they are. So when you make an offer, also make it clear that it’s optional.
Encouraging your employees to approach their jobs with creative thinking will give them an extra sense of pride and ownership in their performance, leading to a higher degree of employee satisfaction. It can also alleviate some of the monotony of everyday tasks as employees are called upon for new ideas.
Ask and listen
Seek feedback from your employees on a regular basis. Find out what they notice is working and what they think could be improved (and how they’d improve it!). Posit questions about workplace atmosphere and dynamics in general to find out if any interpersonal issues need to be addressed. And when you ask, be sure to make anonymity an option, or at least assure your employees that they are in a safe space. Then take action to address any grievances.
Avoid micro managing
One of the biggest workplace peeves is micro management. It can be highly uncomfortable to feel like you are not trusted, are under-performing, or are simply unable to have a quiet space to focus in. Your employees will be more productive without your hovering, so take a step back and answer questions when they come to you.
If an employee intends to quit their job for extraordinary circumstances, such as a spouse’s job relocation, you can get creative with your compromises. For example, if location is the only barrier, consider offering the option to work remotely. You can come to an agreement on the details, say where your employee visits the office quarterly and works from home the rest of the time. With the help of technology such as Skype, Google Drive, and other office-friendly programs, you might be surprised just how feasible this option is.
If you’ve implemented all of the advice here and your employee still intends to leave, the best you can do is to be amicable about it. Don’t try to convince your employee to stay by threatening a poor reference or something reckless like that. Do conduct an exit interview if possible, as you will gain some valuable insight into their experience with the company, a possible business contact for future matters, or even a suggestion for their replacement.
Kelly Smith is an experienced writer and tutor working at Career FAQs. She’s keen on new motivational tools and productivity hacks. She’s also interested in the new media.