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How to Retain Top Talent: 8 Ways to Keep Your Best Employees



If you’re struggling to retain your best-performing employees, know that you’re not alone. This is a dilemma that many companies face. From Mom and Pop shops to major corporations. Especially, in the modern and ever-changing world of business. To tackle this problem head-on, it’s important to take a proactive approach and ensure you can retain your top talent for the long term.

Talented employees are hard to come by. Given that, retaining the great employees you have should be a top priority. It is also cheaper to keep employees on staff. One report finds that it costs employers 33% of a worker’s annual salary to hire a replacement if that worker leaves. For example, let’s say the employee’s median salary is $45,000. That means the replacement cost would be $15,000 per person.

Obviously, keeping an employee is the best way to go. Especially, if that employee is one of your best and most talented. If you’ve done a good job at attracting top talent, now is the time to focus on keeping them around. In this article, we’ll look at eight ways to retain your top talent.


Improve Your Hiring Process

If you’ve noticed an increase in your company’s turnover rate, an ineffective hiring strategy may be partly to blame. A brief interview is often considered enough of a screening for potential employees. Although, at times it just doesn’t cut it. There are other ways you can filter through job candidates to really make sure you’re only hiring the best of the best.

Accurate Job Description

Naturally, the job description posted beneath your “for hire” ad should reflect the exact requirements and duties of the job you want to fill. Many employees rely on this information to create accurate, realistic expectations for the workload ahead. Failing to be upfront about this can create miscommunication.

Read All Employee Documents

Job candidates who are truly invested in your opportunity will take the time to thoughtfully create their resume or cover letter. They will also provide you with these documents under the assumption you’ll read them thoroughly. Unfortunately, too many employers fail to look through these documents. In doing this, they miss critical information about new hires’ backgrounds, work experience, and thus their competence.

Consider Two-Part Interviews

If you have a difficult time selecting the right candidate be open to conducting a second interview session. Especially, when there are multiple individuals interested in the position. This adds an extra layer through which only dedicated applicants can persist. Additionally, some job candidates may not even show up for the second interview. This helps weed out applicants who aren’t committed.

Run a Background Check

Needless to say, running a background check before hiring employees can save you a lot of hassle later. Discovering that an applicant has a criminal background or other issues may influence your decision to hire them. But it can also help make sure you maintain a safe and reputable workplace.

Take It Slow

The biggest mistake most employers make when hiring new talent is rushing through the process just to fill the role as quickly as possible. At first, this may seem convenient when you’re in dire need of a new team member. However, in the long run, it’s going to do more harm than good.

Take the time to communicate openly with job applicants and investigate a little to discover who the best fit for the position is. Granted, it may take more time to fill the role. But, it’ll be secured by someone you can trust to consistently perform well.


Create a Positive Company Culture

Studies show that a toxic workplace culture contributes 10x more than compensation to higher turnover rates. Even if your employees are paid well or receive excellent benefits, the workplace culture will ultimately decide whether they stay or hand in their resignation.

It’s important to foster cooperation and trust in the workplace. Employees should feel supported and empowered. Providing employees with resources like an HR department can encourage them to speak freely about the way they feel at work. Also, you can encourage teamwork and strengthen employee relationships by trying out team-building exercises and group projects.

If employees come to you with complaints regarding workplace relationships, you must take their feedback seriously. Additionally, you should also make a physical note of it. Employees that feel heard and valued at work will perform better every time. 


Offer Competitive Compensation

Compensating your employees appropriately is critical in retaining your top talent. If an employee is consistently performing above and beyond expectations, you must give them that feedback. This will help ensure that they know they’re valued. One great way to do this is to increase their wages to reflect the quality of their work and the consistency of their efforts.

Also, take notice of what other companies are paying their employees within your industry. If feasible, try to push past that. Employees that work hard and perform well will be on the lookout for the best opportunities they can find. If you undercompensate a talented employee, you risk losing them to a higher-paying employer.


Ask Employees for Feedback

Offering occasional surveys or hosting group talk sessions with employees can be a game changer for workplace culture. Allowing employees to submit anonymous feedback allows them to safely communicate problems they might otherwise have kept to themselves until it was too late. Basically, by organizing group meetings you can clear the air periodically and keep communications open.


Give Employees Non-Financial Benefits

Rewarding hard-working employees motivates them to continue delivering high-quality results. And, those rewards don’t always have to mean an increase in compensation. You can also find non-financial ways to reward your employees. Here are some other excellent examples of ways you can reward employees without relying on a pay increase:

  • Encourage employees to explore their own (related) business projects.
  • Increase available PTO and sick days.
  • Offer educational resources for those interested in pursuing the field.
  • Offer public recognition for high-performing employees.
  • Consider introducing an “Employee of the Month” program.
  • Use giveaways and freebies as rewards for workplace achievements.
  • Offer opportunities to grow within the company.


Promote from Within

When employees struggle to grow within their company, it creates a feeling of being undervalued and overlooked. Ultimately, this can lead to a higher turnover rate. 78% of employees in the U.S. have expressed frustration with being promoted within their company. In addition, ¾ of workers also stated they would be “very likely” to leave their current job for another one with more growth opportunities.

Even if your workplace environment is overwhelmingly positive and employees are fairly compensated, workers may feel dissatisfied. Especially, if they’re not given a chance to push beyond their current responsibilities. Many of your employees might have the potential to become your company’s top talent. But, instead fall through the cracks due to a lack of opportunities.


Find Ways to Keep Employees Engaged

It’s important to find fun in the workplace and keep employees from growing bored or discouraged. Work is hard – that’s why it’s work. That being said, there are ways you can make the work day a little less tiresome for everyone. Keeping morale up in the workplace can result in increased motivation and better performance all around.

There are many reasons that cause low engagement among employees. Identify the risk factors within your workforce to prevent it from causing an employee’s exit. Also, be proactive in keeping employees engaged in their work.

Provide Flexible Work Arrangements

In recent years, workers have begun prioritizing work-life balance. To retain your most talented employees, help them with that priority. Providing flexible work arrangements is one way to do that.

Flexible work arrangements can include remote work, flexible schedules, and job sharing. Also, consider providing employees with the technology and resources they need to work effectively from home. By offering flexible work arrangements, companies can attract and retain employees who value work-life balance.



Your top talent is the backbone of your business. Regardless of what industry you’re in. Because of this, increasing employee loyalty is crucial. Making sure that your best-performing employees are treated well can lead to a long-lasting era of improved productivity. Don’t let your top talent slip through the cracks. Instead, guide them to higher branches of success.

Ari Bratsis
Team Writer: Ari is a writer, blogger and small business owner based in Washington state.

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Team Writer: Ari is a writer, blogger and small business owner based in Washington state.

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