Although there is a significant amount more applicants than there are jobs in this day and age, it is extremely hard to find quality employees that meet all the skills positions require.  With that said, when you do hire quality people you want to take the necessary steps to retain your employees.  Although job seekers and employees are looking for more than just a healthy paycheck these days, here are some key attributes to not only finding the right people but improving employee retention rates as well.

Although career development is quickly becoming the front runner, pay and benefits have always been #1 for job seekers.  And benefits don’t just mean a 401K and a week of paid vacation anymore-it means on site physicians, maternity and paternity leave, education reimbursement, and endless free food.  If this seems a little too far from what you are currently offering, at least being aware and showing you care about more than the bottom line is a great place to start.

Employees want the chance to contribute to the organization and be recognized for doing so.  They also place a high value on being trusted.  Employees want to know that they can be free to make decisions on their work without being micro managed—there’s a reason you hired them right? So let them show you what they can do.  IF you have and they haven’t performed, well-that’s a different issue.

Having a sense of community and a common goal motivates people to go to work every day and even gets them willing to stay later and put in more effort. For example, Google makes it almost impossible for their employees to need anything off campus.  We can’t all be Google, or have their resources but we can learn a thing or two from them.  Encouraging mentor/mentee relationships helps build morale in the business.  When seasoned employees who have had success filter those traits down to the younger generation of employees, they are teaching the exact traits that have obviously contributed to your businesses growth in the past.  In addition, employees want to be challenged which, when they are faced with those tasks you can be confident they won’t be overwhelmed because of the option to work through it with their mentor.

The ability to grow and move up in the business is huge for employees. If knowing that hard work will eventually get them a promotion and more money, it is natural that they will work toward that goal.  Although they are being paid to perform whatever is task required, growth opportunity or not, they are more inclined to excel with that prospect in mind.

Perhaps the most easily overlooked, employee recognition is more important to your employees than one would believe.  According to, only 20% of people feel valued at work—which translates into unhappy, less-productive, unmotivated employees. According to surveys done by the website, employees aren’t looking for an elaborate celebration every time they do a good job, but it does seem more commonplace to ignore the triumphs and only focus on their failures-all while blowing them way out of proportion to top it off.  The most troubling part of this statistic is that it could be easily avoided.  Be aware of the projects your staff is working on, and when they hit a milestone or land that big deal—let them know YOU know.

Employees stay when they are:

  • Paid Well
  • Trusted
  • Valued/Appreciated
  • Promoted
  • Challenged
  • Mentored
  • Involved
  • Empowered

It takes time to keep quality employees. Keep in mind, the way you terminate is also going to factor in to employee retention.  If employees leave on good terms, they are more likely to recommend the company, yielding future employees who meet your standards.

It is ok to step away from your desk and focus on your staff. The more emphasis you put on employee relations, the more likely they are to produce quality work for you. Although you may not see the value initially, it will pay off in the long run—and more importantly, increase the bottom line you have been so focused on.


By: Renee Walrath