This article comes from Entrepreneur.
Talented employees are like wine — their value increases with age. Repeatedly losing them to other companies is a bad sign with all sorts of unpleasant implications. It may be that they’re simply ready to move on, but if you wait till they leave to discover the particulars, you’ve robbed yourself of two things.
The first, obviously, is that you’ve lost a valuable team member. The second is that identifying the source of their unhappiness often means improving your company as a whole. It isn’t always easy to hear why a beloved employee has fallen out of love with their job, but burying your head in the sand will only ensure that their replacement eventually experiences the same disillusionment. That’s why I’ve identified three key steps to retaining talented employees.
The easiest way to retain talent is to do everything you can to figure out whether a person will fit in at your company before you hire them. You keep talent by keeping talent happy, and there’s no better feeling than belonging somewhere. On the flipside, there’s nothing more uncomfortable than not fitting in. An employee can have expertise and experience out the wazoo and still dislike their job if they’re uneasy with their environment.
Before hiring a candidate, ask yourself the following questions: Do they buy into your company’s mission and vision? Do they dig your company’s values? Are they temperamentally suited for your culture?
One of my best employees leaves the office at 4 p.m. every day without fail. He’s been with my company for years, and during that time has played an indispensable role. I remember a new employee noticing his schedule and wondering about it to the point that they actually piped up. “Why was this guy allowed to gather up his stuff and walk out the door while everyone else was still busily bent over their work?” they wanted to know.
Focus on productivity and achievements rather than obsessing over how many hours your employees spend in the office. Whether it’s a question of working from home on a particular day or calling into a meeting rather than being physically present, keep an open mind. If productivity starts to suffer, you can always tighten the reins, but talented employees will stick around longer if they feel you trust them to perform at a high level regardless of this or that particular of their schedule.
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