How to Retain Your Best Employees

Lunch break at work

Hiring is expensive. Between the external cost of advertising the position and tools necessary to recruit, the internal cost associated with recruiting and interviewing, not to mention any lost revenue tied to having a position open, employee turnover isn’t cost effective for business.

The key to retaining your employees is to keep them happy and fulfilled in their positions, but what is important to one person can be vastly different than that of another. So how do you retain your top talent? Here’s what we suggest:


Encourage managers to have regular informal check-ins with their direct reports, in addition to more formal reviews either annually or semi-annually. Getting out of the office to talk about an employee’s career goals can help you understand how to get them there within your current company.

Take a walk, grab a coffee or sit down for a true lunch break and ask them questions like: What do you enjoy about your current role? Where do you see yourself in five years? How can I help you get there? What skills are you most interested in learning/advancing?

This gives an employee plenty of opportunities to bring up things that maybe aren’t ideal in their role but also time to discuss how they want to grow in the future.

And remember, everyone is different so even if two people are in the same or similar position, they may want or need different things to succeed in their career. By asking and truly listening to their responses, you can assist them in coming up with a plan to put into action.


Once you have a conversation with an employee, don’t let their words fall on deaf ears. Managers should feel empowered to come up with a plan of attack in conjunction with their direct report and use human resources to support them. This support could be in the form of a new budget, suggestions for a new policy, or being a sounding board for both the manager and employee.

The important thing is to put a plan together that will truly help the employee. Being heard is one thing, but seeing action taken from a request is a sign that a company cares about an employee.

In today’s workplace, company culture is a huge selling point for job seekers. Fostering one that doesn’t just say it cares about its employees’ success, but actually shows that they care and value their top performers is key.

And company culture goes far beyond a ping-pong table or weekly lunches. Here are some other ideas to implement company-wide to keep employees not just happy, but fulfilled:

  • Learning Opportunities

This could be in the form of Lunch and Learn sessions where another employee or even an expert shares their expertise on a specific topic, or budget for online courses or conferences.

  • Internal Networking Sessions

            Think: One-on-one or small group mentoring sessions, networking groups dedicated to certain topics or speakers who can discuss specific areas of expertise.

  • Flexibility

Allowing your employees to be humans is arguably one of the most important things you can do to keep them around. People have families, appointments and other obligations, but it doesn’t mean that they aren’t also dedicated to their work. Make it easy for them to balance both so they won’t go running elsewhere.

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