Employee Retention Rule #2: Invest In Your People


These days, many workers have one foot out the door. Did you know that a recent Gallup poll showed that 73% of disengaged employees are actively out looking online for a new job?  Even 37% of employees who are engaged still have feelers out about new opportunities.

Despite those statistics, our experience has shown us employees who are appreciated, challenged, and growing aren’t actively looking for another job.  So, it is critical that management at all levels in your organization are actively growing those they lead.  As the owner, you set the example. Try investing in your management team by:

  • Conducting Monthly Meetings
    Start by having meetings once a month, for just an hour, with the people who report directly to you. The key is that spending your time with your managers communicates your appreciation for them. Your time is one of the most valuable thing you can share with your employees.

    You might choose to hold meetings of small groups, which are more time-efficient and can encourage helpful dialog between managers. For example, they may be dealing with a challenging employee, and another manager might have some unique insight to the situation. Alternatively, you may consider having individual meetings, which provide more privacy to deal with manager specific topics.

    Once you have met with the managers reporting directly to you for three months, have each of your managers begin spending similar time with their direct reports. Continue in this way until all levels of management in your organization are meeting with the people they lead on a monthly basis.

  • Growing Your People
    Growth areas don’t have to be life-changing. It could be that the manager wants to learn more about how the business works so they can see the bigger picture. They might want to learn how to run a new piece of equipment or handle more complex tasks. Helping them understand the bigger picture is a benefit to you because you can teach them the things you know and eventually delegate those things to them.

    Growth areas don’t always have to be directly related to work. For example, if one of your employees is coming to you for guidance in an area that they are not familiar with, take a moment to share some of your thoughts and ideas with them and explain concepts that have worked well for you that might work for them too. They will thank you for your time and see that you’ve invested in them as a person.

    Growing your people works best if you focus on an area of growth that the manager is interested in and one that you see is an area they need to grow in. The key to successful growth of employees is to find areas that of growth that are important to both of you.

  • Encouraging Your People to Take on More
    Endorse the mindset that everyone in the organization should be growing their replacement. One way we have framed this concept of investing in others is to impress on everyone to always be growing the person underneath them, to replace them, since that is how they will be able to move up within the organization. This will create an environment in which everyone is constantly encouraging the people below them to take on more, to learn more. It will eliminate the toxic practice of hoarding information and knowledge, almost entirely. For owners, this concept helps a company be less dependent on you individually.

When you invest in your people – you to your management team and your management team to all employees – your employees will be invested in you and your company, and that creates loyalty.  Loyalty is one of those things that will keep your people with you for a very long time, despite competing opportunities or labor force trends.


This blog is part of a 4-part series inspired by the webinar, Stop Losing Good Employees.

See also: Current Trends That Make it Difficult to Retain Employees, Employee Retention Rule #1: Structure, Clarity, and Focus, Employee Retention Rule #3: Make Employees Part of Something Bigger

EmployeeMatthew Pohl