10 Ways to Retain and Motivate Your Best People

Although money can be a great motivator, there are other―some might say better—ways to retain and motivate your best people. Many times we assume that promotions, raises and bonuses are the only ways to recognize our employees’ hard work. And while those are certainly appreciated, people also love recognition, a pat on the back, the opportunity to learn more, do more and grow too. A bonus will make them happy, but a couple months or years from now, this will become a distant memory, whereas some of these ideas will stick with them:

  1. Give them the opportunity to lead a team: Recognize the strengths each individual on your team possesses and allow them to set the example for the rest. This will motivate your employee to live up to their reputation as a leader and raise the bar.
  2. Provide more training: Some individuals may actually prefer more training over a raise because they can be on the leading edge and develop skill sets that others do not have. Training is a win-win―for your employees and to build the talent base that drives the success of your organization.
  3. Let them work from home occasionally: For companies that don’t already allow remote workers, let them take advantage of advancements in technology that make telecommuting possible. Show your employees that you trust them by allowing them to decide where they are most comfortable, efficient and do their best work.
  4. Assign them employees to mentor or train: Give your employees a sense of empowerment! They will be responsible for the success and development of another individual. Contributing to the growth of the people of the organization is a great reward.
  5. Give them more responsibilities: Now, this may seem counter-intuitive, but believe it or not, there are many individuals in your organization who are begging for and can handle additional responsibilities. Identify who these employees are and see if you can match new responsibilities that play to their strengths.
  6. Offer them the chance to work on a new, breakthrough project: Everyone wants to be part of something exciting and share the success of the organization. Breaking someone’s routine will allow them to learn to think in new ways and connect with other individuals they have never gotten to know or work with before in the organization.
  7. Provide them access to new technology or tools: Find out what tools can make your employee’s job easier and more efficient. This will increase productivity and show that you are aware and know how your employees do their work.
  8. Share good news and not-so-good news: Employees like to be in the loop. Good news should be celebrated, but not-so-good news should be shared too. Being transparent and honest allows you to build a close-knit team that works together and always knows where the organization stands.
  9. Give recognition when recognition is due: Recognition does not have to come in the form of a tangible prize. Praising an employee for their accomplishments during a meeting will work just as well. How about taking them to lunch? This won’t break the bank and will remind others that you notice the extra work they put in.
  10. Get out of your office: Make a point to spend a few minutes each day getting out of your office to check in with your employees and make it known that you are present and available for them. We all get tied up in our work but could afford a few moments a day to get to know our people and see how their day is going.

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