Tips for Retaining Employees – Part 1

As a manager you have a huge amount of repsonsibility when it comes to hiring and firing employees. You’ll do your best to hire the candidates you think are the best and you’ll have to document incidents in order to fire those who turn out to be not as great as they presented themselves. In the midst of all this, managers tend to forget one group of people – the good ones – the ones they should be working to retain.

A good employee isn’t one you can just leave alone, monitoring only when it comes time for the annual review or when you need to assign new work. Even good employees need attention and if they don’t get it, or feel appreciated, they might start to look elsewhere for work.

So what can you do to help retain the employees you already have and want to keep? Here are 5 things to consider.

  • Pay them well. Money really isn’t the only factor people consider when it comes to taking or keeping a job but it does play a huge role in the decision. If your employees feel overworked and underpaid they’ll start to wonder if they can find what they feel to be a fair level of compensation elsewhere (and they probably can).
  • Treat your employees fairly. Truth be told, you are all simply people. If you want your employees to feel good about themselves, treat them as if you are on an equal playing field. You know, as if you are all members of a team instead of them being the team with you as the leader.
  • Make one-on-one time for each member of your team – whether it’s an informal cup of coffee in the morning or a trip out to lunch. Find time where neither of you feels pressured and let your team members know, on an individual basis, that you actually care about their growth and development.
  • Allow space to breathe. Sure, there are rules, but everyone has their own way of getting the job done. Let your employees be creative in their work. As long as they aren’t breaking the law or any important rules – and they’re getting the work done on time – you’ll find they’re happier if they’re able to express themselves.
  • Be personable. Be a great leader, with heart and spirit, and let them know you respect and appreciate what they do. The more respect you have for them, the more they’ll have for you.

On Friday we’ll go over a few more tips for employee retention. Until then, think about the relationships you have with your team members. Are they strong enough to survive?

Thanks again,


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   

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Updated on: 27 January, 2010

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