Follow these 5 steps to keep good workers

When good employees leave your company, they take institutional knowledge, skills, and relationships that will take time to rebuild in a new hire.

It's an investment most companies find themselves making too often. The fact is that keeping the people you have is a huge savings in time and money.GW

Even with the recent announcements of layoffs in high profile companies, the unemployment rate remains historically low. That means finding the right person for the right role is still as hard as it has ever been. Cultivating and retaining the talent you already have is key to continuous growth and success.

How can you keep good employees?

See the whole person. We go into the labor market looking for employees and entire people show up. They bring not only their skills, but families, financial concerns, health struggles, and more. Making an employee feel seen and appreciated means acknowledging how all of those things will impact them and their job.

More of this, please. Everyone has at least one or two superpowers. Instead of focusing on their weaknesses, consider how they excel. Highlighting and leveraging that will empower your employees and cultivate a sense of appreciation and loyalty. Don't try to force the fish to make waffles. Instead, encourage the fish to swim farther.

A sample of one. Each employee has an idea of what success looks like. For some, that's climbing the corporate ladder to get an impressive title. For others, it can mean simply doing their job well and enjoying what they do. Ask them what their plans are. It will help you focus their development and inform your succession plans.

Leveraging development. To protect institutional knowledge or create a smooth succession plan, use training and mentoring to connect employees with the resources they need to strengthen themselves and the organization. Even if an employee doesn't have an eye on an executive chair, there will be new skills, approaches, or technology that will impact their job.

Ensure quality coaching. Performance management is best done through a coaching process that finds the sweet spot where an employee’s abilities and interests intersect with the organization’s need. Not everyone is a natural coach and that's fine. A little training and focus can fix that. Managers who struggle with their coaching skills can benefit from the opportunity to develop them.

In hectic times, performance management is often the first thing that gets put on the backburner, but it’s your best tool to increase employee retention, productivity, and potential.

Gary Markle is the creator of the Catalytic Coaching performance management system and Chief Catalyst at Catalytic Coaching Inc., a business partner of Energage, a Philadelphia-based employee survey firm. Energage is The Washington Post’s survey partner for Top Workplaces.

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