Retaining Talent

Retain Talent

by David Sprinkle

If you run a business or a department, you know how devastating it can be to lose a top performer.  For most businesses, success revolves around having the right people in the right positions and retaining them long term.  High turnover can cripple a company and losing a top performer can kill it.

With recent improvements in the local economy, there is a rising tide of people that are currently working who are open to seeing if the grass is greener.  Overworked and under appreciated, many top performers are at a minimum open to taking a recruiting call, and in many cases confidentially putting their feelers out to see if there’s something better.

As an employer, now more than ever is the time to re-evaluate your employee retention program, and if you don’t have a retention program…what are you waiting for?

Here are a couple of tips for retaining your key employees:

1. Make sure they feel appreciated

There are many low-cost moves that let employees know that you value their efforts. One way is to make it a habit to thank employees for a job well done…catch them going the extra mile and praise them for it.  Sometimes a simple pat on the back is all they need.  Other non-monetary rewards like extra time off or a better parking space can help as well.   If you are not sure what your employees would like, ask them.  Chances are they will have several ideas for how you can help them feel appreciated. Contrary to popular belief, little things really can go a long way to help your key employees know that they are appreciated.

 2. Give people tools to do their jobs well

Many businesses laid off employees during the recession.  The “lucky ones” that kept their jobs were left with more work causing increased stress and burnout which can quickly lead to turnover. Watch for signs of increased stress and frustration, such as missed deadlines and absenteeism. You can help alleviate some of the stress by ensuring your key employees have the essential tools they need to do their jobs. This may mean spending a little extra money for additional training, new software and equipment or possibly bring in a temp to help with the workload…invest in your people and you will get an ROI…don’t invest and, as the saying goes, “you’re a penny wise and a pound foolish”.

3. Offer opportunities for growth

Your best employees want growth…both promotional career growth and the opportunities to expand their knowledge base and learn new things.  Talk about career path options at least annually.  Offer your top performers opportunities to attending an industry conference or seminar can be a great motivator.  Maybe they would like to cross train with other departments or serve on a new committee in your company.  Bottom line is that no one likes to be stagnant in their job, so give your employees chances to learn and grow.

4. Provide feedback

Employees want feedback on how their doing…what’s going well and what needs to be improved.  Even the most independent top performing professionals appreciate feedback, especially when it’s scheduled, constructive and productive.  Create a culture of providing feedback, both manager to employee and employee to manager, and you’ll reduce the wanderlust.

Using these tips will get you started down the road to retaining your keep employees, reducing turnover and increasing productivity.  Investing in and developing your people is one of the best ways you can help your business grow.

~By David Sprinkle, Managing Partner at Veritas Recruiting Group.  Veritas specializes in placing top-tier accounting and finance professionals in Central Florida.  For more information, please visit: