Turnover: 4 Ways to Keep Key Employees

“If you’re not concerned that the toughest employees to replace are the most likely to bail on you; you should be.”  ~ Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBizMedia

In recent months, I have had several speaking engagements on the subject of turnover with hundreds of business owners in attendance.   I am not a professional speaker, so I was somewhat surprised when I discovered these business owners were totally engrossed in my talk.  Since I know it was not my speaking prowess that was engaging them (although I heard I did a pretty good job), it became crystal clear that the subject of turnover had captured their attention. 

Turnover is a big concern about business owners.  They realize that the recession has taken its toll on their employees.  Why wouldn’t it?  It certainly has taken its toll on business owners.  If business owners are feeling stress, isn’t it fair to assume their employees are feeling it too.

The question is what do you do about it?  How do you “undo” the damage the recession has caused?  Yes, you can bring pay back to normal and award raises to your key employees.  Yet, will that be enough?   Are your people still working 50+ hour work weeks feeling worn out and stressed.  Pay doesn’t make the stess go away.  So, how do you reduce the stress? 

Here are a few ideas:

1) Find low cost ways to provide support to your key employees.  Hire a support person to assume the load of adminstrative tasks.

2) Shift responsibilities to other support team members, especially to those you want to groom for advancement.  This cross-training exercise will make your company less vunerable to losing key knowledge.

3) Reinforce the company strategy and be sure to tell you key employees how they strategically fit into the puzzle of successs.  They need to know you value their contributions and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. 

4) Ask your key employees what you can do specifically to help them.  You might be surprised that it could be as simple as a new keyboard to replace the one with a sticky key.  It’s sometimes the little things that can turn a stressful day into one that is manageable.

You may not be able to eliminate all the recessionary damage, but you can certainly move in the right direction.  Awareness is the first step.  Make sure you know which key employees are feeling the most stress and do whatever you can to ease the pain.

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