Four Strategies to Retain Star Employees and Boost Profits

It can be so difficult to find star employees with a solid combination of talent, effort and work ethic. Once your recruiter has helped you hire the perfect pick, it’s important to have strategies in place to retain your strongest team members.

By retaining your best people, your hiring costs will go down and productivity will skyrocket. Read on for four strategies you can use to keep your star employees content.

1. Determine how you can add flexibility to their role.

Consider things like family, location and commute options. According to a university study, commuting factors are a prime cause of burnout.

“The risk of burnout increase significantly when a commute lasts more than 20 minutes…above 35 minutes, all employees are at increased risk of cynicism toward their job.” — Annie Barreck.

If you have just hired someone great and you’re aware their commute is over 20 minutes long, consider absorbing some of the cost of their transport as well as accounting for their valuable time in transit.

It may seem small, but these little things contribute to a broad sense of job satisfaction over time. Adopt flexible transit arrangements and expectations, and you’ll see a rise in happiness and productivity.

2. Communicate often and get feedback.

We all understand the importance of getting feedback from our clients, but can often miss a crucial part of a strong team-focused pipeline: identifying problems and using constructive criticism to grow.

According to Alison McGrath, author and Director of McGrath HR, employers should facilitate honest conversations with their staff and implement feedback systems.

“Essentially, you should be asking them ‘why do you stay?’ and monitoring their career and building their future.”

McGrath goes on to recognise that this kind of process also “identifies any critical issues and risks to the business.”

3. Paint a picture for future job growth.

On that note, it is important to show employees that their value is recognised by communicating and implementing job growth plans. At a base level, humans love to be seen and praised and this has huge effects on productivity. If you’re looking for an in-depth case study on the effects of appreciation and progress planning, we recommend the book Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh. His company Zappos has formulated a very specific system for employee promotion that enables not only greater job satisfaction but also a far stronger business model with an eye for future stability.

Hsieh understands the importance of a strong team and also the reality that staff come and go through their lives, so a business cannot entirely rely upon one single person as an asset but rather their team as a whole.

“Rather than focusing on individuals as assets, we instead focus on building as our asset a pipeline of people in every single department with varying levels of skills and experience, ranging from entry level all the way up through senior management and leadership positions. Our vision is for almost all of our hires to be entry level, but for the company to provide all the training and mentorship necessary so that any employee has the opportunity to become a senior leader within the company within five to seven years.” — Tony Hsieh.

Communicate a clear progression plan to your employees and create a system to nurture from the very beginning.

4. Create an environment that enables friendship.

When we consider employee satisfaction, it’s easy to get caught up in the financial or career trajectory aspects. However, a recent study finds that one of the most important elements to boost company morale is by creating an environment that enables budding workplace friendships.

According to OC Tanner:

  • 75 percent of employees who have a best friend at work say they feel they’re able to take anything on, compared to 58 percent of those who don’t have a best friend at work.

  • 72 percent of employees who have a best friend at work are satisfied with their jobs, compared to 54 percent of those who don’t have a best friend at work.

Consider how you can build opportunities for natural team connection. Take the temperature of your office culture: are expectations too steep day to day, leading to keyboard-chained lunches? Could you build social breaks into meetings, or take your team out for an appreciation dinner?

Socially, it is easy to slip through the cracks in an office environment. It may seem fluffy, but human connection is one of the most powerful things you can master in order to strengthen your team and get productivity more efficient than ever before.

If you are an Accounting/Finance Professional interested in exploring new opportunities in the Brisbane market we’d love to hear from you on (07) 3135 9780. I also encourage you to join our private LinkedIn network Accounting & Finance Professionals in Brisbane (click here). As you probably are aware we do move quite quickly on the roles we recruit for so it pays to stay ahead of the competition. Our group is an exclusive community I am building up for Finance Professionals in Brisbane who want to share job search opportunities, industry news, blogs and other content. You’ll also have an opportunity to network with each other. You might even come across some people you have worked with in the past!

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