How To Keep Your Best Team Members

Employees are your most valuable asset. Here's how to hold on to them
Employees are your most valuable asset. Here’s how to hold on to them
Image Credit: Joshua Ganderson Follow

During the course of a normal day, a manager has a lot of different things that we need to spend time worrying about. However, using our manager skills to keep the team that we have onboard is often not one of the things that we worry about on an average day. However, perhaps we should be. If we hold off until they are walking out the door in order to find out why they are leaving, then it will probably be too late. What we really need to be doing is talking with the members of our team today in order to find out what we can do to get them to stick around longer.

Understand That Retention Begins In The Beginning

All too often what we don’t realize as a manager is that our ability to get a member of our team to remain with the firm starts during the application process. During this process we have an opportunity to identify what aspects of our company’s culture and strategy you want to emphasize, and then finding out if those are shared by the person that you are thinking about hiring.

Managers need to realize that the longer someone’s with your company, the more productive they become over time. A manager has to look at this as a long game, and take steps to ensure they’re doing it right by making sure each employee is completely engaged with and part of the company’s ongoing success. Oh by the way, this is yet one more thing that you are going to have to work at every day!

Picking People Who Are Going To Stay Around

When we ask people to join our team, we’d really like to find a way to make sure that we’re asking people who plan on sticking around for a while. What manager training secrets do managers need to know in order to identify the right candidates? It turns out that there are some key indicators right on their resume.

The first thing that you are going to want to look for are candidates with longevity at their previous jobs. Have they worked at the same company for many years through its ups and downs? If so, then that speaks to loyalty, perseverance, and engagement. As you talk with the candidate, also look for people who play team sports, who have committed to volunteer or other activities outside of work — these kinds of team building activities can help tell you that they believe in a cause, a team, a sport. Additionally it shows that they have the mindset to stick with something they really care about.

You Need To Provide Education And Advancement Options

Managers need to make sure that the people who are on their team are highly motivated. In order to make that happen, the people on your team need to believe that there is a next step in their career at your company. In order to make them believe that you need to promote from within when possible. Promoting from within not only provides a clear path to greater compensation and responsibility, it also helps team members feel that they’re a valued and crucial part of the company’s success.

Managers realize that the members of their team may not be ready to be promoted right now. Before that happens, they need to gain additional skills. What this means is that promotions go hand-in-hand with employee development and education. Both of these items should be another tool in your retention arsenal. Whether by corporate training to help foster the acquisition of new skills, new technologies or new processes or through tuition reimbursement from outside courses, furthering team member’s education can help them feel valued and invested in the company.

Surveys have shown that high-skills training (80%) and professional development programs to hone soft skills (74%) are perceived among the top benefits for retaining employees’ services over the next five years. Managers who focus on education will be able to retain more of their team members. A commitment to training is seen by employees as an investment in their worth and a powerful incentive to stay at the company.

What All Of This Means For You

Building a team of professionals that are going to be able to help you to be successful is a difficult task for any manager to accomplish. However, once you’ve done it, you are then faced with your next challenge – retaining the team members that you have. Managers need to know what steps they can take in order to keep the people that they have on their teams.

Managers need to realize that retention starts at the beginning – during the hiring process. We need to make sure that what the company stands for lines up with what the candidate is looking for. Additionally, candidates that have a track record of staying with companies will have a better chance of staying longer with your firm. We also want to make sure that we are providing the members of our team with both education and the chance to advance in the company. If our team members can see both of these opportunities, then they’ll stick around in order to take advantage of both of them.

Managers have yet one more job – retaining the members of their team. Just building the team is not enough, now we’ve got to get the team to stick around. It turns out that our actions are what will build an environment that will make our team members want to stay with us. If we can realize that retention is a part of our daily job, then we can work at it and we’ll be able to keep the team that we’ve been able to build.

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: How much time during a given day do you think managers should spend working on retention?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

There is no question that the Covid-19 pandemic changed everything. One day we were all in the office getting along and then the next day everyone was at home using Zoom to video conference with each other. As life slowly starts to try to get back to normal, managers have a real challenge on their hands. The Covid-19 virus has not gone away and yet we’d still like to restart our normal office interactions. What’s the best way to go about doing this?