How to keep an employee from jumping ship

The secret to keeping your best employees productive and happy isn’t throwing money at them, as studies have continuously shown that money isn’t the top factor in employee happiness. Here are four strategies from leadership coach Kristi Hedges. SPONSORED CONTENT
July 07, 2014 |
Steven Burns

Photo: bplanet via

As the economy continues to recover, employee turnover is projected to rise as well. 

“Companies need to do some hard work to keep their employees engaged and in their jobs,” writes Kristi Hedges, a leadership coach, speaker and author, in a post. “Otherwise, any residual unhappiness from the past few years will end up in serious defections.”

Any employer knows that losing an employee is expensive, with the cost of replacing an employee ranging from tens of thousands of dollars to two times an employee’s annual salary. And that doesn’t include the mental cost from the extra burden on the former employee’s manager and peers to make up for the lost work, and the potential hit to morale that can ensue when a good person leaves. 

The secret to keeping your best employees productive and happy isn’t throwing money at them, as studies have continuously shown that money isn’t the top factor in employee happiness.

Here are four strategies that Hedges recommends implementing:

1. Set realistic expectations from the start. Be clear from the beginning, explaining the expectations for the job and how to fit within the larger culture. Have the person interview multiple people at the company, and encourage an honest dialogue. 

2. Show employees that there is room for them to grow. Employee mobility – and making sure your people are aware that it exists – is key to retaining employees. Continuously reinforce to them that advancement is encouraged and that there’s room for them to grow if they perform. Promote internal promotions via email newsletters and social media. Make them understand that you want to support their career aspirations, and that it’s a priority.

3. Demonstrate the advantages of where they work. Even if your company isn’t known for being one of the best, you can establish a reputation for a top-performing team. Showcase your own team’s successes, and positive stories of advancement. After all, a person’s direct manager is a top reason that employees choose to stay.

4. Let your employees know you trust them. Manage to results, not tasks. 

“Micromanagement is exhausting and disempowering for everyone, and a frequent cause of both manager and employee burnout,” Hedges writes. “Allowing employees to get the job done the way they see best shows respect for autonomy and decision-making skills. Plus, trust begets trust.”


Editor's note: This is sponsored content. The text was provided by the sponsor company. 

Steven Burns | The Business Behind Design

Steven Burns, FAIA spent 14 years managing the firm Burns + Beyerl Architects, and during that time the firm’s earnings grew at an average rate of 24% per year. After founding his own software company, Steve took his management expertise to BQE Software, where he is refining their business strategy and product development for the company’s groundbreaking project accounting solution, BQE Core.

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