Retaining key employees is critical to an employer’s success. With the economy being more robust, retention has become a top priority for employers.  By focusing on retention, companies will likely experience increased productivity and ensure consistency in their business.

Top job candidates with sought-after skills are in high demand and don’t stay in the job market for long, which opens opportunities for companies to snatch star employees away from their established positions.

Factors That Help Attract and Retain Key Employees

There are many possibilities to why your key employees would likely stay. Below is a list of some factors cited by valued employees:

  1. Flexible Work Environment and Work Hours – Offer the opportunity to telecommute one or several days a week to your top non-customer facing employees. Younger workers especially will appreciate the flexibility and freedom from traffic hassles.
  2. Competitive Pay and Health Care Package – This benefit is more important than you might think. To stay competitive, consider the full value of the offer you provide. It can be worth several thousand dollars to a discerning recruit.
  3. Efficient Hiring Process — Top job candidates with in-demand skills are at the top of other companies’ recruiting lists as well. Make the hiring process as quick and efficient as possible to secure top performers before someone else does.
  4. Softer “People” Strategies – Cultivate a work environment where communication is encouraged and employees, especially younger workers, feel they can make a difference and are a valuable contributor.
  5. Special Perks – Influence both recruits and employees with perks like gym membership discounts, laundry services, the ability to purchase extra “paid time off,” and opportunities to participate in organized community services.
  6. More Frequent Feedback – Employees want to know how they are performing. Instead of annual performance reviews, provide feedback on a more frequent basis.
  7. Work-Life Balance – Companies that have efficient processes and adequate resources are scoring the top performers. Employees don’t want to work overtime just to keep up. Reward employees with extra time off when the occasional tight deadline requires additional hours.
  8. Some other factors include:
    • Exciting and challenging new projects
    • A good supervisor
    • The experience of being part of a team
    • Belief in the company’s mission
    • Recognition of a job well done
    • A family-friendly employer
    • Advances in technology
    • Job security
    • Opportunities for advancement
    • Autonomy

Obviously, it’s the totality of the circumstances – not just one thing – that keeps workers in the fold. Companies that practice some or all of these strategies are reaping benefits, from both a recruiting and retention perspective. Top performers appreciate the flexibility and autonomy it provides. Companies have found it brings loyalty and high performance, as most of these employees feel their employer is showing sensitivity and working with them to ensure balance in their lives. Consider adopting work-life strategies into your company’s culture to help attract and retain your best talent.

Sherrie Whatton is President and CEO of LBMC Staffing Solutions, LLC, a specialized recruiting firm whose focus is on the placement of accounting/financial, information technology, human resources, and executive administrative professionals as well as key manufacturing roles.