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Retaining Your Employees for Life

High employee turnover isn’t just bad for team morale; it’s bad for your business at every level. If you’re constantly in a cycle of losing and hiring employees, you’ll have little time to focus on high-level strategy and business growth. Your existing team must step up to cover the gaps left behind, which can ultimately lead to burnout and more exits. And, throughout it all, your clients will likely experience the results of a company culture that feels like a revolving door. 

Clearly, employee retention is in everyone’s best interest. But it’s not as if you intentionally turn away employees who want to work for you! Instead, it’s a matter of identifying the reason between employee churn and addressing the problems that cause them to leave behind a job that once excited them.

If you want to retain your employees and build a team of lifelong brand ambassadors, make sure to follow these tips to foster an environment that encourages people to stay.

Learn your employees’ core motivators.

Motivation comes from many sources and every person finds it differently. For some, a brisk workout can get the gears turning. Others need to know there is money in it for them. Some want to feel appreciated and affirmed by those around them. 

If you have multiple people on your team, it’s likely that you need to mix up your motivation strategies to keep everyone on track. Perhaps you host a team lunch one week and bring everyone’s favorite doughnuts to work the following week. Find what motivates them best and start being intentional with your gestures.

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As a leader, your job is to keep your team inspired and engaged in their work. That involves keeping an eye out for red flags and being ready to solve any obstacles that arise. If you need to create a calendar event to remind you to show appreciation for your employees, do it! You have the power to break out of the tunnel vision and hold yourself accountable for your team’s morale.

Live by a “humans first, employees second” mindset.

It’s hard to see much of anything when you’re always in the grind, but rest assured—if you’re feeling the pressure, so does your team. While you need them to be productive assets of your business, it’s essential to cultivate a people-first culture that acknowledges that we are all imperfect human beings who aren’t always at our best. (Yes–you, too.)

As previously mentioned, many people value time as a motivator more than anything else. If your team has been working diligently for days on end, it can mean the world to simply say, “Hey, I’ve noticed that you’ve been burning the candle at both ends. You’ve done such an amazing job. Take the afternoon off and enjoy yourself!”

On a similar note, be flexible with schedules and personal matters. You may not have expected your lead planner’s child to come down with the stomach flu on event day, but it’s on you if you don’t have a contingency plan in place. Your employees should not have to sacrifice their personal needs to fulfill their job responsibilities. 

People like to like where they work. They want to feel valued as more than just another order-taker. When they do, you’ll see an increase in employee engagement, job performance, conflict resolution, and problem-solving. 

Use incentives to promote collaboration.

Don’t count out the value of a big end prize! While everyone is motivated by different factors, there are some things that get everyone excited to reach their goals. For example, consider treating your employees to an all-expenses-paid team vacation at the end of the year as a reward for reaching a major sales goal. (Of course, the incentive must make financial sense in relation to the goal.)

The shared prize will align everyone’s goals and push them to achieve what’s best for the company and for themselves. An added benefit of this approach is that your employees will recognize how vital they are to the overall business model. 

To reach a shared revenue goal, the salesperson needs the marketer to draw in leads. The marketer needs the event director to maintain a strong reputation with excellent service. The event director needs the salesperson to keep a strong client base to oversee. Everyone has a stake in the process and the results, so naturally everybody should get a piece of the pie!

People don’t leave jobs they love. They don’t want to go back to the job hunt, sit through more interviews, get to know new coworkers, and learn the ins and outs of a new company. If they are going through the trouble to do so, it’s because there is a fundamental problem at play. If you commit to approaching each day, each person, and each situation with empathy and respect, you’ll win over employees for life. 


Hustle + Gather

Hustle + Gather is a training and consulting firm that is on a mission to inspire others to take big leaps, dream big dreams, and create amazing teams that grow profits and enjoyable (but productive) culture within business. They specialize in the hospitality industry and have coached and trained businesses to increase their profitability while creating a kick-ass team along the way.

Over the past 15 years, Courtney & Dana have built and operated three successful businesses in the Raleigh NC area. Starting off from ordinary, they paved their way by sheer grit and tenacity splashed with some therapy and coffee along the way. They are on a mission to inspire others to take big leaps, dream big dreams, and create amazing...