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Tips to retaining key employees

November 23, 2010

Even in today's not-so-tight labor market, employers can address the concern of retaining good employees by asking their employees, "What makes for a good place to work?" A study by the Gallop Corporation found the top employee responses to be:

• Having the opportunity to do what I do best.
• Having the sense that someone cares about me.
• Knowing what's expected of me.
• Getting recognition for what I do.
• Having opportunities to learn and grow.
• Being productive.

A common thread runs through the responses: effective performance management.

Managers do not intentionally ignore an employee's need for recognition and professional development. Usually absent are both a system for accountability for ensuring that employees understand expectations, receive feedback about their performances, receive recognition for good performance, and have a plan for professional growth and development.

Increased salaries, benefits and incentive programs are appreciated, but most organizations have limited resources and should focus on areas that will have the most impact on retaining employees.