Want to Grow? 4 Tips to Engage and Retain Your Best Employees

A cartoon when one businessman says to another, "Jumping ship? Not me. the job section just popped up and made me read it."

If you are planning to grow the business, you had better invest in employee engagement training and be sure your employee engagement scores are high. Otherwise, you will lose the top talent upon whom your growth depends. You will spend far too much time trying to fill empty slots. Isn’t it smarter to focus on engaging and retaining those good employees who are currently in place?

Okay, so you don’t want to lose good employees. High employee attrition is one of the top signs of a low performing organizational culture.  First, you need to define and shape a high performance corporate culture that aligns with your corporate strategy.  Then you need to find out what attributes they are looking for in a satisfying job and make sure you provide them. Here are 4 tips on engaging employees and retaining top-notch talent.

  1. Attract and hire the right people in the first place.
    Hire those candidates who will be a good organizational culture fit first, are enthusiastic about your company vision second, and have the right skills and experience third. Very rarely is the first applicant the best. You need to be patient. And believe me, it is worth waiting. A poorly hired candidate will absorb time, effort and money before they move on. Wouldn’t it be smarter to take the time now and not later on a mistaken hire?  When it comes to hiring new talent, never settle.  Take the time to get it right.
  2. Take a genuine interest in your employees.
    Show that you care about them both personally and professionally. Learn what motivates them and what they like best to do. Recognize their extra efforts and offer them growth opportunities so they feel appreciated for their contribution and can envision a challenging career path ahead.
  3. Hold everyone accountable.
    This includes you. Be sure that you as the boss set clear performance expectations and do what you say you will do. Employees look to you as the standard of behavior. The way you handle commitments, no matter how small, becomes symbolic of your trustworthiness and character.

    And this includes each member of your team. If you have a low-performing employee, try to figure out what is wrong and to help them correct course. Until you solve the problem, other team members will lose heart. Why should they work hard if a slacker is ignored? The whole team’s morale can be poisoned if you allow one employee off the hook.
  4. Stay tuned in.
    Trust and open communication is the foundation for building a strong team. Each team member needs to know that they can ask questions, offer opinions and suggest ideas for improvement without repercussion. Develop a “behavior code” for meetings to encourage a free exchange of ideas and constructive debate.  People should be able to give and receive feedback in a straightforward manner. Set the stage by welcoming input and accepting criticism with humility.
The four tips above are basic to a positive environment where employees are engaged. To know what else they would value, simply ask them!

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