How to retain your star employees | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 28, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 28, 2018

How to retain your star employees

Cherry-picking new employees in itself is an extremely tedious and demanding process. Unfortunately, the process doesn't end here. With the emerging trends of seeking better opportunities, job-hopping has become a challenging issue for modern recruiters. Going through elaborate systems of hiring and training employees, only to ultimately lose them to other companies is extremely expensive and counter-productive. The following tips can amend such undesirable outcomes:

Empower your stars

The key to do that is to make your employees feel less like trapped employees and more like business partners. Instead of functioning in an authoritarian matrix, give your employees the autonomy and ownership they crave. Instead of man-managing your star employees, delegate responsibilities to them so that they own a certain extent of influence within their sphere of tasks. Create newer opportunities for them and help them grow so that they can meet their potential and find fulfillment in their jobs.

Train and let train

Star employees are constantly looking for ways to broaden the spectrum of their operations, something that is only possible through training. However, traditional training approaches either come in the way of their assigned work, or take up their free non-work hours. The solution to this, is to introduce micro-learning at workplace. Through this, they will gain short but strong bursts of on-the-go training. The best companies are focusing on developing soft skills such as communication, team work and time management. Alongside these, employees should be taught to work smarter, not harder. However, in order to ensure your employees stay, from time to time, they need to stop being on the receiving end of training and instead be assigned mentorship of other employees. This will help convey the message that the company appreciates and values what they have to offer.

Communicate effectively

Employees have some specific expectations from their jobs. It is crucial that these expectations are accurately communicated. An open and transparent communication system ensures proper expectation management. The employees need to be given a concrete roadmap as to how the company can support their personal goals and ambitions. In this regard, the managers should be more accessible and approachable so that no levels of miscommunication or misinterpretation exist. Employees get demotivated and seek escape when the company's approach to grooming doesn't align with their short term and long term goals; an effective communication system can prevent that. The company should make deliberate attempts to comprehend what makes employees want to leave, and then take genuine steps to try and fix that.

Create a healthy community

Employees spend a significant chunk of their everyday lives at office. Hence unless a healthy culture of trust and faith exists, it is very difficult to keep the employees motivated. To retain employees, build kinship in the office by propagating a strong sense of belonging. The employees should feel like they are integral members of a clan striving towards similar goals and aspirations. The company should organize non-work activities both inside and outside office to develop workplace friendships and connections. At the end of the day, it is integral that the employees can associate themselves with the values of the company they work for.

Build a rewarding experience

Star employees expect compensation that reflects their stardom. Their contribution to the wellbeing of the company is more than that of the average employee, thus to ensure that goes on, their compensation should be congruent to their impact. Equitable monetary compensation is a basic hygiene factor without which retaining employees become extremely difficult. Apart from that, it is also important to establish an intangible reward mechanism through constant praise and appreciation. Employees are constantly seeking approval. Thus setting up a system where they get validation for good performance, brings forward a culture of active involvement and dedication.

Form a two-way feedback channel

A major constraint in many modern workplaces is a top-down approach to feedback where only the superiors give feedback. Employers should first establish a channel that proliferates constructive feedback, and then ensure that the channel isn't restricted to one-directional flow. As such, the employees should feel at ease to express their two cents on the currently implemented systems and processes. However, it should not be delimited to just being heard, in fact the feedbacks and suggestions should be earnestly considered and if merited, be implemented in near future. This will make the employees truly feel like the change makers they aspire to be.

A star employee is a rare find. A smart company should be willing to heavily invest on keeping them satisfied. An exhaustive model of growth, gratitude and goodwill canwill ensure that these employees are happy enough to stay. To conclude, pay special attention to those who are making a difference. Otherwise, they will go make a difference elsewhere.


Adiba Arif is in her senior year at IBA, University of Dhaka. Reach her at

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