Strategies to retain your top performers
Strategies to retain your top performers

Strategies to retain your top performers

As unemployment rates have reached historic lows, it’s never been more difficult to find qualified candidates to hire. And as the labor market tightens and jobs go unfilled, productivity can be impacted. But before you jump at the next resume, beware. Making a bad hire can be even more detrimental to your business as the costs to replace an employee and train them quickly add up. Employee Benefit News reports that employers spend 33% of a worker’s annual salary to hire a new replacement.

That’s why every business should be laser-focused on developing and retaining their rock stars. If your company is looking to boost retention, here are some tips to help keep your workforce intact.

  1. Create a great first impression
  2. Just because you’ve brought a new employee on board, the hiring process is not over. Providing an engaging onboarding experience is just as important as ensuring a smooth candidate experience during the hiring process. Onboarding is your first chance to engage with a new employee and a positive experience can go a long way to increasing retention. The Learning Match Maker found that 91% of employees stay with a company for at least a year if they experienced a well-structured onboarding program.

  3. Make your benefits a competitive advantage
  4. These days, perks are the icing on the cake when you’re wooing applicants—and they mean just as much to your top performers. A competitive benefits package is typically second only to salary when it comes to employee satisfaction. But keep in mind that a cookie-cutter benefits program isn’t enough to accommodate a multi-generational workforce. To impact engagement and increase retention, you must tailor your programs to meet your employees’ unique needs.

  5. Offer more flexibility
  6. Do your employees have to be in the office for forty hours, five days a week? Research from Global Workplace Analytics found that 66% of people want to work from home and 36% would choose flexible arrangements over a pay raise. Many companies are now offering more flexible work arrangements and the results are telling.

    Forty six percent of companies that allow telecommuting say it has reduced attrition, and 95% of employers say it has positively impacted retention according to the same Global Workplace Analytics study. No matter what option you choose, be sure to spell out the specifics in your company handbook so there’s no ambiguity.

  7. Give them kudos
  8. Everyone likes to be appreciated and recognized for a job well done. But many employers struggle to effectively celebrate their people. Gallup’s annual study of the American workforce revealed that only 33% of U.S. employees have received recognition or praise for doing good work in the past seven days. People who routinely feel that their best work is ignored are twice as likely to say they’ll quit in the next year, so it’s easy to see why it’s important to make employees feel appreciated.

  9. Invest in their careers
  10. Helping employees grow in their careers is no longer a nice to have, it’s a must. More than 9 in 10 employees would stay at a company longer if their employer invested in their careers, according to LinkedIn. Personalized training is a start but consider creating a mentorship program that pairs senior-level executives with high performers. The result is a pool of potential new leaders from within your company who are more likely to succeed than leaders brought in from outside the business.

  11. Show them the big picture
  12. A total compensation statement details all cash income, as well as the value of the benefits employees receive. It’s often referred to as a hidden paycheck because most employees only focus on their net pay and underestimate the value of the entire benefits package. The more you can promote the extra perks and help employees think beyond the dollars, the more they will value their entire compensation.

  13. Make communication a priority
  14. Lack of communication is often the main catalyst for employee frustrations. As workforce demographics have changed, so too have communication preferences. Though millennials desire more feedback from their managers, don’t neglect the rest of your workforce. Real-time, one-on-one coaching conversations can eliminate problems before they become issues. Also, make sure your business is providing opportunities for employee to give honest feedback. Surveys and employee communities are great places to start.

  15. Promote from within
  16. It’s discouraging to your best employees if you continually recruit new management from outside the company. That’s why many companies are introducing succession planning as a key retention strategy. A sound succession plan can help develop top performers for future internal positions while showing employees they’re valued. But before you get started, remember that succession planning isn’t only for top leadership positions. It should apply to everyone within the organization.

Want more inspiration on how to make your company’s culture a competitive advantage? Register for Paycor’s two-day Web Summit beginning on June 4.

About Paycor

More than 30,000 medium and small businesses nationwide trust Paycor to help them recruit, develop, pay and retain their employees. Paycor is known for delivering the best HCM technology for the SMB market, but what makes us legendary is the total client experience we provide, from responsive service and user-friendly design to expert partnership and thought leadership. Our unique combination of technology and expertise helps clients streamline every aspect of people management so that they can rise above status quo HR and grow their business.


Karen Crone, PaycorKaren Crone is Chief HR Officer at Paycor. She is responsible for scaling Paycor’s people practices in support of its rapid growth and for reinforcing its strong culture across an evolving footprint.

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