Employee Retention

Help Your Team Members Succeed (Especially When They're Tempted to Leave)

Help that valued employee being lured by another opportunity think through what they are leaving behind.
Help Your Team Members Succeed (Especially When They're Tempted to Leave)
Image credit: Yuri_Arcurs | Getty Images
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Entrepreneur and Connector
5 min read
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For a rising star, few things are more exciting than a big pay raise to work at a thriving new company. However, not every higher-paying job is worth taking. Bad cultures, long hours and company instability can all turn a promising opportunity into a living nightmare.

Entrepreneurs who run successful companies know how to reward their employees appropriately. Sometimes a competitor steals a top performer -- that’s just part of the game. Good employers hate to see their employees leave, but they hate it even more when an employee leaves for a job that isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Founders are in a great position to teach others how to evaluate potential offers (and to optimize their own offers through the lessons they impart). The next time someone you know wants to take a new job, encourage that person to ask the following questions -- and think about whether your own company would pass the same test.

1. Does this company have a good culture?

Companies from startups to enterprises are all about culture these days, and for good reason. Company culture determines whether employees enjoy their jobs and whether the business is as productive as it could be.

Applicants who get close to the offer stage should ask their interviewers to take them for a tour around the office. If people seem engaged and energized, that’s a great sign. If the mood seems low -- or, just as bad, if people seem to be loafing around more than working -- the company might not be the right fit.

Look around your business today. Do the people seem happy and focused? Consider whether more investment in your culture could help you keep your best talent and attract better candidates.

Related: 10 Examples of Companies With Fantastic Cultures

2. Do you believe in what this company does?

You could also ask, “Do you think this company will continue to succeed?” Businesses run by people who don’t care about what they do rarely last long. Research published in Harvard Business Review found that purposeful companies are more profitable.

Before applicants make the leap, they should dig deeper into their would-be employers’ values and mission statement. Are those nice statements just words, or does the company truly practice what it preaches?

If your company has no purpose (or, worse, doesn’t live by its stated purpose), treat the disparity seriously. Not only could that insincerity turn off potential employees, but it could also limit your profits.

Related: The 8 Values Every Company Should Live By

3. Is the new paycheck as good as it seems?

People tend to undervalue compensation that doesn’t come in the form of cash. As an entrepreneur, you know that a few extra days of PTO or a better healthcare plan can make a world of difference to your employees. People who are not in your situation don’t have that knowledge, which sometimes leads them to take bad deals.

Before they jump ship for a 25 percent raise, candidates should list all their current and potential benefits next to each other and compare. Health insurance, especially for people with families, can vary widely in price and coverage from one place to the next. Prospective hires should consider pay, vacation time, flexibility, authority, responsibility, insurance, commute time and other factors before deciding where to work.

To keep your company competitive, regularly evaluate your compensation packages. Are they competitive in the market? Do you offer perks your employees appreciate, or are you wasting money on free Zumba classes no one takes?

Related: How to Attract -- And Retain -- Staff When You Can't Pay Big Bucks

4. What happens next?

Some people expect to change positions every couple years until they find one they love. Others don’t want to move but feel compelled to do so by a dream opportunity or killer compensation. Regardless of their past, however, every potential hire wants to know the same thing: What comes next?

Research from Gallup found that 32 percent of employees who leave do so for advancement. Prospective employees should ask their interviewers (and networks, if applicable) about how promotions work at the new company. Do people there rise quickly and leave just as quickly? Do most people take five years or longer to get their first promotion?

Consider how your organization rewards productive employees. Which people have you lost in the past? Could you have kept those top performers if you'd provided better advancement opportunities? Let productivity and drive, not longevity, guide your decisions on whom to promote.

You don’t want to lose your best workers, but when people in your circle find new opportunities, you can’t stifle that growth out of selfishness. Help them evaluate the situation to make the decision that’s right for them -- and while you’re at it, use the opportunity to improve your own operation.

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