3 Tips to Retain Top Talent (Without Providing Snacks)


Retaining Top Talent

During the interview process you do everything you can to ensure the right person fits into your company culture.  You ask the right questions, call their references and run a background check.

But after the hiring process is over, do you continue to ‘court’ those top talent employees, paying special attention to each one?  Or do they just get lost in the day-to-day?  You must know that you are dealing in a competitive market to keep creative, hard-working employees with personal goals on your team.  After all, there are companies out there like google that let their employees play ping pong in the office!  There are companies like Zappos that give employees a free coffee bar complete with some pretty sweet snacks.    So what are you doing to keep those great employees under your payroll, instead of them heading out to where the grass is greener, the cubicles are prettier and the snacks are plentiful?  

I asked a few of my employees what makes them feel like they play an important roll at MBI Worldwide. To be fair, I cannot leave out the answer that I received from our CEO, Brian Chapman which was, “Keeping my wife happy” because yes, you guessed it… he is my husband, and he knew that answer was probably going to get him a package of double stuff oreos on my next grocery store run.  See how awesome snacks are!   My favorite (appropriate) answer however, was from one of our employees, Jolene when she said, “Knowing that I am a valued asset to an organization and that my opinion and my work is important”.

Snacks aside, I think she hit the head on the nail!

So how do you, as the supervisor, ensure that your employee does feel valued and important? Retaining top talent takes top effort on the part of each director and supervisor.   Here are 3 easy tips you can be doing, to retain that rockstar employee.

Make your employees feel like they’re an important part of the company.
That means knowing things about them and engaging in conversations.  Smile and say hello and call them by name when you see them.  Ask for their feedback on policies and practices.  Set goals together and meet regularly to assess progress.  In other words, make them feel like they are a part of something more than just their “job description”.  

Honesty is always the best policy.
Give constructive, positive feedback on a regular basis.  Don’t just use these sessions to complain.  When employees are doing a good job, let them know that you are pleased.  While the employee will appreciate your honesty, return the favor by listening to her thoughts and ideas.  While changes they suggest may not be realistic, give them an opportunity to voice those thoughts, and don’t hold a grudge if you don’t like what they have to say.  Constructive criticism needs to go both ways for a successful business.  

Obviously, pay raises are a great incentive to stick around.  But that’s not always possible.  There are other ways to show appreciation for what an employee does and to to help keep them around a bit longer. Offer to pay for continuing education courses.  Provide paid, time off if the employee has to be away for class.

At MBI Worldwide, we give out an Employee of The Month Award, special parking spaces  and additional hour-long lunches for exceptional behavior and work ethic.  If you are not able to authorize policies like that, remember, praise is just as important as time off, bonuses or other company perks.  A simple pat on the back and a “good job” really does go a long way.

If you haven’t been practicing these tips in the past, start today.  It’s not too late to make someone feel like they are valued and appreciated.  A little bit can go a long way in keeping someone on the verge of leaving your company, to decide to stay on your team.    

A brownie goes a long way too.

K. Chapman, President
MBI Worldwide