28 Sep 2016
Published by: Madeleine Morgan
7 Secrets to Keeping Your Best Employees

One story that made big news recently was the fact that the BBC will lose the Great British Bake Off to Channel 4. Whether you’re a Great British Bake Off fan or not, if you’re in business, you’ll probably be curious to know how the BBC commanded the loyalty of 3 of the programme’s stars. Only Paul Hollywood is moving to Channel 4. Mary, Sue and Mel won’t be following the ‘dough’.

Keeping talented team members can be crucial to any business. After all, it’s costly to recruit, induct and train new staff members. In addition, team members often hold a valuable store of knowledge and experience about working in your business and with your customers that takes time to build up again. So, what can you do to retain your skilled and effective employees, even if you can’t pay them top salaries? Here are 7 ideas:

1. Nurture your talented people
Mary, Sue and Mel said that they felt loyal to the BBC because they felt nurtured there. They also mentioned that the BBC team created a ‘warm’ and ‘charming’ environment to work in. How often do you check whether your team members are happy and find out what really motivates them?

2. Recruit for attitude, train for skill
Lots of people who have the right qualifications and experience can also be ‘high maintenance’ and difficult to work with. They can cause havoc in your workforce. So, choose people who are interested in your business and want to help you to grow it. Make sure they’re team players and that they take pride in producing quality work. It’s easier to train for skill than for attitude.

3. Invest in the learning and growth of your team members
Good employees often value learning new skills and taking their existing skills to a new level. It’s a good idea to discover what they’d like to learn. When you work with them as partners in their own development, rather than imposing training on them, they learn more willingly. Investing in formal training and coaching, giving stretching projects and on the job mentoring can all help your employees to feel they are growing and learning at a good pace.

4. Make sure they have the skillset to do well at their job
This may seem obvious, but I’ve noticed a lot of people get promoted to team leadership roles or asked to do customer facing roles, for instance, but they don’t have the communication skills to do their jobs well. This causes them stress and employees who feel out of their depth are less likely to stay.

5. Do things that help your team members feel valued
Job security, positive feedback and appreciation are just some of the ways you can reward your talented team members.

6. Make expectations and goals clear to your employees
Good employees like to perform well. To do that, they need know where the goal posts are. Giving your employees job descriptions, regular 1-2-1 meetings and clear instructions can all help them to perform well and so feel good about working for you.

7. Deal with poor employee behaviour quickly
If you tolerate shoddy work, poor time-keeping, laziness, rudeness and other forms of poor performance in any of your team members, your best workers will want to leave.

Above all, be a great role model for your employees
If your team members see that you behave differently from the ways you expect them to behave, they will soon feel you’re being unfair and hypocritical. For instance, if you want them to respect you, show them respect. If you want them to be interested in learning and growing, show that you invest time in learning and growing.

How could you apply these ideas? What other ideas do you have? If you’re experiencing challenges with your team and you’d like more ideas for building a great team, how about booking a free Business Growth Strategy session?

If you find the session has been useful, you might want to continue working with us.

Interested? Simply click here to complete the form on the contact page of this website and we’ll do the rest.

Warm wishes

Madeleine Morgan,
CAMBITION Business Guidance Programme Leader


‘The least productive people are usually the ones who are most in favour of holding meetings.’ - Thomas Sowell