How Can I Keep My Best Employees Engaged?

Employees are often the single most expensive aspect of any business. If you consider salaries, health care, attractive 401K matches, and other benefit packages, just recruiting and bringing a new employee into the fold can cost thousands of dollars. In fact, a recent Studer Group survey found that it took an average of 6.2 months for a new employee to reach a break-even point for the company.

But that amount just accounts for the average new employee. What about your top performers? Your best employees are difficult to replace and their departure can cause setbacks and expensive delays. To prevent these scenarios from occurring, consider these tips for keeping employee engagement up and your best employees excited about staying on:

Offer Opportunities for Advancement

It’s important to recognize and reward top employees who do work that makes significant differences. Promotions are great for recognizing such performance as it shows everyone in the company how much you and other top management personnel appreciate those efforts that make the company more profitable. However, note that not everyone wants a title promotion and that you don’t want to move a person out of a position which they love and excel in. Rather, learn from your employees what they need and want as far as advancement terms. i.e. a better vacation package may sometimes be more appreciated than a full title and salary upgrade.

Know How You Can Help Your People Achieve Their Goals

Having given the above warning, many people, no matter how much they love their current position, don’t want to be doing the exact same thing for the next five years. People thrive on problem-solving and new experiences. Ask your most talented employees what’s most important to them, what drives them, and where they want to be in one, five, or even ten years. Then, provide them with opportunities to learn, grow, and develop. The more opportunities you provide, the more loyal they will be and the bigger asset they will become. If you can, make room in your company for their future positions and aspirations.

Offer Opportunities for Problem Solving

If you want to keep employee engagement up and your best employees around, then get them involved in the decision-making process. Facilitate a ‘safe zone’ place or time where you (or your managers) openly ask them the hard and real questions about what they want changed, both regarding their position and any projects they’re working on or anticipate working on. Then, hear them out and implement where possible. This shows employees you value their input and that they are just as much involved in creating solutions as higher-tiered employees.

A large aspect employee engagement is the effectiveness and interpersonal skills of your project leaders and managers. Are these employees trained to manage their teams both effectively and happily? Do they connect with employees and know how each person on their team is doing? Are they adept at providing quality feedback through coaching and learning opportunities?

At Equal Parts Consulting, one of our primary services is working one-on-one with small and mid-size companies to train and exercise their leadership teams in achieving all of the above. Great businesses start with great workforce culture. Learn how you can improve yours by contacting us today.