7 Tools Helping Managers Retain Effective Employees

High employee turnover can be damaging to organizations. While retaining effective employees is something that every manager should put effort into, those overseeing staff might not be sure how to go about the process. Here are seven tools to help managers lay the groundwork when it comes to retaining the most effective employees within their organization.

1. Setting Clear Expectations

employee expectations and goals

Your staff should know what their job entails and should have the tools available to perform effectively. Above and beyond these basics, it is up to you as their manager to check in and make sure they are reaching their goals effectively. If employees feel the job that they have come into isn’t what they expected from the recruitment process, a higher disconnect occurs right away according to research.

This can be avoided if management has defined expectations for employees that have been conveyed effectively from the start. Clear, continual communication once an individual has been in a role is important too, both in group and individual settings.

If your best employees feel engaged, have a clear outline for specific projects, and understand the big picture, they will be more satisfied in their position.

2. Offering Targeted Training and Mentoring

Training on phone

If staff don’t feel as if they are receiving feedback or coaching to do their job well, they can quickly become disengaged and unhappy. As a manager, one way you can remedy this is to make sure that training and mentoring opportunities are available and fostered within your work environment.

Sometimes staff that might be struggling just need a little help from their organization to get back on track. This can turn so-so employees into confident, effective staff that you will want to keep on your team. Timely measurement and overview of performance and individual training is crucial to uncovering areas for improvement.

3. Professional Development Opportunities

Professional development on corporate ladder

If staff don’t feel like they have the time or space to widen their career opportunities within your organization, they might start looking elsewhere for these opportunities. Offering up ideas for professional development as well as letting staff seek out opportunities on their own can make your most valuable employees feel appreciated and develop their skills. Staff should know your level of commitment to professional development as well.

Set clear expectations when it comes to funding trainings or granting time off for these types of opportunities.

4. Planned and Unplanned Recognition

Employee recognition

The most traditional ways to to recognize your best employees are through compensation, benefits, and promoting within. Other recognition can come with year-end awards or public praise for individuals and teams that have gone above and beyond.

While high performers can be effective on their own without encouragement, recognition is a great way to keep effective employees motivated and satisfied with their work.

5. Respecting Work-Life Balance

famliy work life balance

If your employees are feeling stressed or overworked, this can cause even top performers to lose motivation. As a manager, it is important that you respect and model a good work/life balance. While there might be times of the year that you need ‘all hands on deck’ for projects or deadlines, it is a good idea to do this as a team and then let staff take time off to recuperate.

Telecommuting, flex schedules, and time off during down time should be encouraged and handled equitably. If you let staff rest and recharge, they will be able to perform better and your top employees will stay motivated.

6. Building a Trusting Community

trusting community

Keeping your employee’s trust and confidence should be something that needs to be managed and maintained. Those in leadership roles should be communicative and transparent when it comes to upcoming workloads or staff changes. Managers should also solicit feedback from staff so they can find out what is and isn’t working. A great way to keep your top talent is to take referrals from respected staff for new hires.

This will bring in more effective employees and keep high-performing staff happy as well. Trust is more than just listening to staff. Talk the talk and walk the walk by following up after meetings and following through on promises.

7. Keeping an Eye on Your Company Culture

Company culture

While the hope is your staff will be a part of shaping your company environment and culture, most employees will look to you to set the tone. If you are motivated within your own role, this can go a long way. Try to find ways for staff to have fun with events such as periodic lunch parties or retreats. If your most effective employees can feel like a team, they will have a sense of belonging within the office. This is especially important if staff work off-site or aren’t in the office at the same time. Building a productive office culture starts with management and shouldn’t be put off.

Keeping your most effective employees on your team starts with managing your team strategically. Top performers have the most wiggle room to move on and need to feel valuable within their position. If staff feel as if they are part of an equitable, supported team, this can go a long way to bolster employee satisfaction. As a manager, don’t forget your part in motivating staff and working to retain your best employees.