Hooray! You found some staff that are amazing! You’ve got people you can rely on, they take initiative, and they invest in the success of your business by creating great customer relations. Now, how do you keep them? Wishful thinking won’t make it happen, but some specific actions will! Read on for 5 strategies to retain quality employees.

What Motivates Employees?

1) Take the time to inquire and write down the ways Amazing Annie feels appreciated.

  • Don’t assume that everyone is motivated only by financial bonuses.

You don’t need to guess at this or “take a shot in the dark”. There are two books that can help you in this department. One is, The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, and the other is, Work Happy by Jill Geisler. Jill’s book has an inventory in Chapter 8 that will supercharge your discussion. It should be a standard part of an Onboarding process.

Disclosure: I am a PROUD affiliate of Bookshop.org where a portion of your purchase goes directly to local independent bookstores! Also, I will earn a small commission. Click through to support small business. Whoot!

Raising Up Leaders

2) Encourage and support staff taking initiative.

  • Don’t be “Micro-Manager Mike”.

Yes, it can be so much easier to just do it yourself or keep things the way they are. However, when innovation and ideas are not encouraged or supported, then quality staff may have one foot out the door. While it might seem like more work in the short term to encourage ideas and bring them to the table, in the long term it will save you big time from high turnover.

Empowering Staff

3) Make this a part of your training: Practice with staff how to fix their mistakes.

  • Don’t have a hero’s complex and swoop in every time to fix Carl’s Customer Service blunders.

Fixing other people’s mistakes doesn’t empower them to grow or give them confidence. It does exactly the opposite.

Staff will mess up. You might as well lay down this expectation from day one. What WILL empower staff and give them confidence, is training the skills to fix mistakes on their own. Training staff how to fix mistakes and exceed customer expectations when doing so is a magic bullet for growth. Exceeding customer expectations both empowers your staff and frees you up for other things.

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Scheduled Time to Connect

4) Conduct regularly scheduled private meetings.

  • Don’t have drive-by meetings and casual conversations and expect Harry to feel heard.

If Harry isn’t heard, Harry doesn’t feel valued.

During your private one on one meetings, set specific goals together, lay out a plan to move towards those goals, and listen. Lots of listening.

Develop a Path

5) Get your shit together. Have a handbook, an SOP, training videos, and the like.

  • No one is a mind reader. You’ve got to clearly communicate your mission and expectations.

While it’s super important to have the things from your brain written down in an SOP, please don’t expect people to read and absorb it all. Get creative! Use video, hands on training, peer teaching, and role play to teach the things that are important.

It takes, on average, seven repetitions to learn something new.

Remember this the next time you’re frustrated that someone made that same error they made last week.

Take Action

No one likes high turnover, and no one enjoys when a staff member that you thought was solid, gives notice. When great staff leaves it can be a blow. We come to rely on people; they free up our time to work on other parts of the business or to have a life outside of business.

If you are a boss that strives to improve, most likely quality staff will stick around and grow with you!

Take a look at your business, see how you fair with these 5 strategies to retain quality employees. My guess is that you’re killing it in some areas and want to improve in others.

Continual improvement is one thing that makes YOU amazing! It’s a trait that quality employees look for, and value in their leaders.