How to Retain Valuable Employees

You did a great job. Hiring that employee of yours, investing time and effort into helping him grow, and now after a couple of years, you sit back and relax, for your employee is doing a great job. Watch out! This is the point, where your employee might just walk out of the door and find himself a new job. 

Why, after all this time, everything you gave him, taught him and did for him?

The problem arrives, when you stop doing all this. At the beginning of a job, the learning curve of your employee is normally very steep. He has to overcome many challenges, learn and grow at a fast pace, which makes time for him seem to fly. When this learning curves starts to flatten out after months or years, your employee will start getting bored if nothing else comes along.

Having learned and acquired skills, your employee will find himself confident enough to tackle new and harder challenges, those that wait for him outside of your organisation. According to Gallup research, 67% of the Singaporean workforce believes they can find a new job within six months. Why stay and be the one who does the job perfectly, if there is no opportunity left for future growth?

Engage Your Employees

If you want to keep on to your employees, you must make sure to engage them. Engaged employees will:

  1. Act as an advocate by saying positive things about their organisation
  2. Want to stay in the organisation longterm
  3. Be motivated to perform to their personal best to help the organisation succeed.

Employees who can solve your problems in their sleep, who know all the answers and have the skills needed to perform more than well, are going to be too bored to want to stay. Losing those good performers will cost the organisation time and money. Worse though if things don’t change and they stay - they will be disengaged at work and start becoming unproductive, which will cost even more. If you stop investing in their growth, they will feel like they’re not worth it - they will not see the point in investing their time to support you. 

Work relationships are in need of reciprocity. If you expect your employees to contribute and perform, you too need to give back to them. Appropriate compensation is one thing, but what they really need are challenges. Projects and tasks that pose a challenge and require new skills and ways of solving problems will keep them engaged and motivated. Give them opportunities to grow and learn, at every stage of their career.

Plan Your Employees' Development

Make a plan on how you want them to develop. Think of ways you can involve them in projects that confront them with new challenges. Including your employee in this will ensure that they will be committed to their development plan.

Use our employee development framework as a guide for planning your employees’ future development: 

1. Developing Business Skills

Conduct lunchtime learning sessions to increase the organisation level skills for each individual. This could be on a topic such as customer service for example. Mobile learning can be an excellent resource for your employees to learn on the go, and whenever they can spare some time. Apart from this, allow them to take time every week to schedule for learning. Review regularly with your employees, whether what they are learning is contributing to moving forward in what they do, instead of just learning for the sake of learning.

2. Developing Teaming Skills

Organise periodic team bonding sessions and activities to reinvigorate the team. Personality (e.g. MBTI) and team assessments can be used to determine preferences and strengths, which can help you distribute assignments and projects wisely. Engage your employees in dialogues, teach them how to influence, persuade and have real conversations with people.

3. Developing Self

Give your employees the opportunity to be coached and to coach others. On top of that, encourage them to set professional and personal goals for themselves to evaluate them periodically.

Having planned out their future development, make sure to regularly check in with them to establish where they are on their learning curve and what they need to further be engaged with their work. 

The way you lead your employees has a great effect on their level of engagement too. Find out next week, how you yourself can contribute to higher employee engagement!

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