How to Hire and Retain Good Employees

Good, well-trained employees aren’t exactly easy to come by these days.  At a recent business forum I attended, the speaker, who was an owner of a chain of local grocery stores in the Seattle area, commented that the skills they hired for in the past — i.e. experience with grocery stores or in food service –are no longer readily available.  Because the unemployment rate is currently so low, the grocery stores just aren’t getting the number of experienced applicants they once were.  Consequently, they’ve had to hire some employees who needed significant training.  Since they are putting so many resources into each individual employee’s training and development, they hope these employees will stay with the company for a long time.

As an employer or business owner, you want to be able to keep your turnover costs low and retain your good people.  In order to keep them, you know you need to make them happy.  But how do you hire and retain good employees?  What makes an employee want to stay with a company?  What makes employees happy?

The great news is that there are things you can do within your organization that will make it more likely that you will be able to retain your top talent.

  • Hire for fit – employees are more likely to be engaged and stay longer if they fit in with the current corporate culture.
  • Empower employees – People crave autonomy, so let them make decisions about how they do their work. Show them the end goal, and let them figure out how to get there themselves.  Support them when they ask for it.
  • Foster a culture of collaboration – Job satisfaction is higher when people feel a sense of inter-connectedness.
  • Support Employees’ Growth – People are more likely to stay with a company if there is a solid path that allows them to train and grow in responsibility and pay.
  • Pay and Benefits are Competitive – While it is a misconception that paying top dollar will lead to more satisfied employees, it is true that if you don’t pay competitively you will lose your staff to a company who does. Regularly analyze your compensation package in comparison with your competitors, and adjust as necessary.

I am happy to be writing a series of blog posts that will help you integrate these areas into your company or department.  Stay tuned!