So you have some excellent employees. But will they stay? How do you keep top talent?

Here are some disconcerting stats from HR

  • “Over 50 % of people recruited into an organization will leave within 2 years.
  • One in four new hires will leave within 6 months.
  • Almost 70% of organizations report that staff turnover has a negative financial impact due to the cost of recruiting, hiring, and training a replacement employee and the overtime work of current employees that are required until the organization can fill the vacant position.
  • Nearly 70 % of organizations report having difficulties in replacing staff.
  • Approximately 50% of organizations experience regular problems with employee retention.”

Let’s face it–it’s difficult to keep top talent. But it’s also critical. Why?


1) It’s a lot of work to replace good employees

According to HuffPost:

“In a study conducted by the Center for America Progress, the cost of losing an employee can cost anywhere from 16% of their salary for hourly, unsalaried employees, to 213% of the salary for a highly trained position! So if a high trained executive is making $120,000 a year, the true loss could be up to $255,600 to the company!”

When good employees leave, they often create a void that requires much time, consideration, and money, to fill. Depending on how long it takes to fill the position, it can also cause instability within ongoing projects and deadlines, which adds further stress for the new candidate, once they are finally hired.


2) It’s a lot of work to find good employees.

Not even addressing the initial challenge of scoping and selecting potential new candidates–once you’ve chosen those you want to pursue, it can be difficult to secure these individuals. Good employees are in high demand, and they are by no means easy to lock down. As ERE Recruiting Intelligence shares:

“The Recruiter Sentiment Survey by the MRINetwork has revealed that 83 percent of the surveyed recruiters have realized that the power has now shifted to the candidate.”

Candidates have an incredible amount of options, and they’re often targeted by multiple companies. This makes the hiring process more challenging, as you may have to compete with other companies and offer more than you were originally planning. Even so, this doesn’t guarantee that you will succeed in hiring your top picks.


3) It’s a lot of work to keep good employees

Once you’ve done the hard work and secured excellent employees, the next challenge is to keep them happy, growing, supported, and secure. Gone are the days of having a job for life, and today’s millennial mindset often encourages young employees to change jobs quickly. According to Forbes:

“One CareerBuilder survey shared employers expect 45% of their newly hired college grads would remain with the company for under two years, and the study showed that by age 35, about 25% of young employees would have worked five jobs.”

Retention is of utmost importance. But how do we do it? What are the best ways to keep your employees happy?


1. Give them a career ladder

You want to ensure that they’re learning and progressing and that as an employer, you’re paving the way for your employees to move forward. Their success is your success, and it will make a huge difference when they know you care about their development. Some practical ways to do this is by offering resources, courses, connections, and mentorships. As Forbes shares:

“If, as a manager, you don’t know how an employee would like to grow professionally, you can’t tailor opportunities to meet their needs, and you risk losing them.”

This is why communication is so important. Address career development in a 1-on-1 meeting. Let your employees know you’re looking out for them and you’re committed to their success. Get to know who they are and where they want to go, and then help them get there. In return, you will have loyal and enthusiastic employees.


2. Appreciate them

Appreciation comes in many shades and styles. There isn’t one single method that constitutes, but rather a variety of factors that make up the big picture. You want your employees to know that you trust them, value them, and appreciate their hard work. Some small yet poignant ways to show appreciation are:

  • Recognize a job well done. If they completed a project that was fantastic, tell them. If they went above and beyond, give them a pat on the back.
  • Pass it Along. If a customer praises one of your staff for their performance or attentiveness, pass it along. Don’t hesitate to thank the employee for what a great job they did, especially in front of others.
  • Recognize the little things. The little things are what make up the big things. Even if it’s not a game changer in itself, bringing attention to  details well done will pave the way 
  • Appreciate behind-the-scenes work. Perhaps one of your dedicated employees reached out to help a customer late in the evening or worked hard to mentor a newer staff. Thank them. Let them know how great you think they are.

As we see from Harvard Business Review:

“Employees want to know they are respected and appreciated. As the saying goes, people may readily forget the things that you said, but they will always remember the way you made them feel.”

So do everything you can to make them feel amazing.


3. Listen to them

According to HR

“Listen to employees and ask for their input as to what rewards might work best at your organization. Conduct meetings and surveys to enable employees to share their input (Branham). Most team members will work harder to carry out a decision that they’ve helped to influence.”

Listening to your employees is key to appreciating and connecting with them. When you encourage them to tell you what they need, to share their opinions, and when you allow them to influence decisions, a few wonderful things become evident:

  • You gain their respect. They will appreciate you for appreciating them.
  • Employees develop ownership and agency. They helped create this, and therefore, and will most likely be passionate and excited about it.
  • They feel secure. When the lines of communication are open, there are no negative assumptions. Everything is clear. 

How should you listen to your employees? There are many ways. Sit down with employees for 1-on-1s. You could organize group meetings. Send out easy and anonymous surveys. Ask how they feel, how things are going, what they need. 



It’s a lot of work to keep top talent. But it’s even more work to not retain good employees. So put in the effort, the time, the care, the monetary resources.

Invest in your employees, and they will invest in you.