“The truth is that the majority of your best people will eventually leave.”

Assuming that the previous statement is a fact, how do many leaders (business owners, managers, etc.) approach this challenge? Unfortunately, they treat their people (even their most talented employees) like a leased vehicle. These leaders try to get as much out of them as humanly possible while investing as little that they can because they know that the contract is eventually coming due to. Did you invest in new tires and brakes immediately before turning in your last leased car? Of course, you didn’t. You ran the vacuum, washed the windows and hoped the dealer didn’t notice the big scratch on the back bumper or the crack in the cup holder. how to retain your best employees? So, if we agree that our best employees will eventually leave, why not treat them like a used vehicle? Why not just work them hard while investing little until they pack up and move on?
Other than the obvious fact that improving the lives of others is the right thing to do, I believe that there are three key reasons why you should treat your top performers like that minivan you just bought with hopes it will last until your infant’s high school graduation. These are the reasons why you must do your best to retain your best team members.

1. Investing in your employees will dramatically improve the overall performance of your company

As Zig Ziglar states, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

If your best team members recognize that you are just as interested in them as you are in the bottom line, they will produce more. Would your top performers be less likely to spend 45 minutes every morning on ESPN.com if they knew that you just spent $2,500 on a training class that will help them develop valuable skills?

2. Your best employees will stay longer in an environment where they are constantly being challenged and improving. The key to keeping the most talented individuals as long as possible is to diminish the powerful effects of the “grass is always greener” syndrome. One way of doing this is to ensure that your best team members are continuously asking themselves

“Would I be able to learn all this great stuff somewhere else?”

Professional development can be a very powerful tool to keep employees both happy and motivated

3. If they do leave, those employees who recognize how important your efforts were to their careers will provide you with two significant benefits. First, they will be more likely to return and second, they will recommend their peers who will also tend to be top performers.

Hopefully, you’re convinced that investing in your best employees is not only the right thing to do but that it will significantly improve your company’s performance. As most leaders will agree, it’s not easy. I have heard many business owners complain that they spent tons of money on these employees, and they still left.

Why would your best team members would leave you?
Most companies have absolutely no idea what their employees want or more importantly what training/mentoring/opportunities they need to get what they want. So, what’s the takeaway? You need to find out what your employees want. Most of the time this will require helping them uncover where they want to take their careers.

Once you understand this, provide them with opportunities to develop the skills to get there. It doesn’t have to be an expensive training class in Las Vegas. It can be as simple as providing them with an opportunity to learn about another part of your business.

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