In today’s tight labor market, finding and retaining top talent can be daunting. Ideally, you’ll discover and hire workers who fit your company culture, sign on to its mission, and stick around for the long haul. But retaining your “best and brightest” can be a balancing act. Here are five suggestions:
- Focus on culture. Does your firm have a clearly defined mission? Or do you operate in an environment of competing ideas? Are employees allowed to speak their minds? Or are disagreements squelched and suggestions stifled? To the extent possible, create an environment of fairness and openness, and give employees a voice in the company’s current and future operations.
- Monitor the workplace environment. Vacillating temperatures, unmitigated noise and noxious fumes shouldn’t be ignored. If your employees dread coming to work because the workplace is too hot or cold, too smelly or hard on the ears, don’t be surprised if they start scouting better opportunities.
- Don’t skimp on tools and training. Whether it’s a more accurate band saw or a faster computer, workers need to have the means to do exemplary work. If they’re struggling with outdated technology, don’t expect stellar results. If they need to master a new gadget or a state-of-the-art diagnostic system, don’t hold them back. Create a reasonable budget for upgrades, replacements and training.
- Stay flexible. Although “work-life balance” has become a cliché, for many workers it’s a crucial factor in their decision to stay or leave a company. Daycare facilities, flexible schedules, work-at-home opportunities — all can keep your employees satisfied and loyal.
- Set clear expectations. Employees shouldn’t have to guess about milestones, deadlines, or performance requirements. Routinely reward them for meeting and exceeding goals. Provide regular feedback on job achievements and shortfalls. Make them feel part of the team. Give them a stake in your company’s success.