How to Retain More of Your High-Impact Employees During Economic Downturns

Posted by in Employee Management | Comments Off on How to Retain More of Your High-Impact Employees During Economic Downturns

Businesses may lose market share and suffer from static growth during any economic crisis (local, national or global), but it’s essential that they retain those employees who have a positive impact on their businesses.

These are the employees who are willing to assume more responsibilities when some of their co-workers are released, who contribute new ideas to help their employers survive, and who remain positive during the crisis. Without de-humanizing these valuable employees, business owners must protect and nurture these human assets as they do with their financial assets.

There are six steps you can take to keep the employees that are more likely to help you the most to survive a bad economy and thrive when conditions improve.

  1. Be Respectful: This attitude always works better than treating your employees with fear and intimidation. That proverbial ounce of kindness will do more to build loyalty and unity, to motivate employees to do more and reveal their leadership qualities. Only then can you expect to retain your valuable employees.
  2. Create a Positive Work Environment: Employees who are given the opportunity to develop their skills through training programs, provide input about how to change a business to maintain its market position and recognize your efforts to remain positive and forward thinking are much more likely to want to continue to work for you.
  3. Implement Continuous Training: As mentioned in #2 above, training programs provide high-impact employees the opportunity to grow professionally and personally. The benefit for you is that they will learn to do their jobs even more effectively and efficiently and be inspired to suggest how to improve your work processes. As essential component of employee training, especially during a bad economy, is cross-training them. Teach them how to do each other’s jobs. Not only do they expand their skills, but also cross-training fosters greater communication throughout your company and prepares your employees to assume virtually every role in the company if conditions require it.
  4. Be a Coach: Take training one step further and develop one-on-one coaching relationships with your employees. You’ll quickly discover the leaders and innovators and can direct their talents to do the most good for your company.
  5. Provide Feedback: Part of your coaching relationship is to provide employees with regular and continuous feedback. Annual and semi-annual reviews are not enough if you expect to anchor your high-impact employees to your business and its mission.
  6. Offer Creative Compensation: Whether you can give employees minimal raises or must freeze wages during an economic downturn, you can offer them creative and alternative kinds of compensation, such as having input to your decision-making. When you include employees in determining the company’s future and improving its effectiveness, they perceive that experience as having value. Your willingness to treat them as virtual equals can cause your key employees to want to remain with you and create an even better company.

Making the effort to retain your high-impact employees during a bad economy will not only prepare your company to grab more market share as the economy turns, but also attract more of the people you want working for your company when it starts to expand.

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