Keeping a Good Employee From Leaving Is Your Best Growth Strategy

Hiring is perhaps the most nerve-wracking aspect of running a business. Avoid the ordeal by keeping the good people already on your team.

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By Jacqueline Whitmore

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It's hard to find a good employee, so when you do find the right person you want them to stick around. As the boss, there are things you can do to help ensure that your employees and co-workers not only stay, but thrive in their jobs.

Choose carefully.

Don't rush and hire someone on impulse. Take the time to find someone who has the credentials and experience and the drive to want to do the type of work you are offering. This could takes weeks or even months. Don't be afraid to hire someone who has less experience yet is passionate about the opportunity. A passionate, dedicated and enthusiastic employee is worth his or her weight in gold.

Related: How to Create a Winning Employee Retention Strategy

Don't give them more than they can handle.

Suffocating your workers with heavy workloads or long hours will only lead to burnout. There's nothing wrong with giving someone more responsibility but be careful not to overload your employees simply because you know they can get the job done. Eventually, they may feel as if they are doing more than their fair share and start to lose interest in their job. If you need to increase their responsibilities, increase their position or pay scale with a promotion, raise or title change.

Related: Three Methods To Ensure Employee Retention

Show that you care.

People who spend eight or nine hours a day together develop bonds that go beyond work. Show that you care about your co-workers on a human level; celebrate their milestones and successes, and empathize with their sorrows and challenges. People often leave jobs because of a bad relationship with a boss, so be the boss they want to work with.

Honor your commitments.

If you make promises to your employees, keep them. The promise could be as simple as holding a company picnic or as lofty as a merit-based promotion, but to the employee, each is a symbol of your character and trustworthiness as a boss. If for some reason you have to change or cancel a promise, be sure to explain why, and try to reschedule it as soon as possible.

Offer opportunities to grow.

People become bored when they are forced to remain in a static position. Offer new opportunities and challenges, and let employees explore their own passions as well. Their creative energy will overflow into the workplace and create a thriving environment. Provide training and opportunities to learn, improve or try new skill sets. Challenge their intellect or cross-train them in other areas of your business. Listen to your co-workers and offer feedback. It's up to you as the boss to keep employees motivated, otherwise, complacency will set in.

Related: Keep Your Talent: 5 Employee Retention Strategies for Long-Term Success

Win their trust and respect.

Other than offering the highest pay around, brainstorm some of the reasons someone would want to work for you. Do you offer a flexible work schedule, liberal earned-leave policies, or company-paid education? Does your office sponsor outside activities like happy hours, company outings or charity projects? Do you encourage your employees to give back to the community? A little imagination can help you create benefits to attract and keep top-notch employees.

If you are experiencing a high percentage of turnover, it might be time to take another look at what you're offering. Poll your employees from time to time to learn more about their goals and motivations and how they want to be treated. Keep the lines of communication open and above all, keep an open mind.

Jacqueline Whitmore

Author, Business Etiquette Expert and Founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach

Jacqueline Whitmore is an etiquette expert and founder of the Protocol School of Palm Beach in Palm Beach, Fla. She is the author of Poised for Success: Mastering the Four Qualities That Distinguish Outstanding Professionals (St. Martin's Press, 2011) and Business Class: Etiquette Essentials for Success at Work (St. Martin's Press, 2005).

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