You’ve hired an amazing team. Now, the goal is to implement employee retention strategies so you can keep your team in the long term. \nRetaining good employees is incredibly difficult as these top performers have many choices and options. \nHere is our best advice on how to retain talent in any organization.\n9 strategies for keeping the key players in your team Click To Tweet\nEmployee retention best practices\nWith new startups popping up daily and a talent shortage, it’s more important than ever to retain the employees that your company hires. Here are our top nine tips on ways to retain employees.\n1. Conduct stay interviews\nCompanies often perform exit interviews to learn why employees are leaving. \nWhile this may work to prevent future employees from leaving, it’s too late for that employee. Why not catch the problem before the employee wants to leave? \nThe Wall Street Journal suggests conducting stay interviews to make sure employees are happy and don’t want to leave. Ask questions like:\n\nWhy did you want to work here?\nWhat makes you stay?\nWhat would make you leave the company?\nWhat would you change or improve in the company?\n\nUse the answers you receive to improve your employee retention strategies.\n2. Make employee development a priority\nEmployee development goes hand-in-hand with employee retention because all employees have their own goals and aspirations. \nThey may want to learn a new skill, get better at what they’re doing, or develop their careers. Ask about what they aspire to do, and dig deep to find out how you can help. Ask questions like:\n\nWhat are your goals?\nWhat do you want to achieve?\nWhat skills do you want to develop?\nHow can I help you get there?\n\nYou can help by providing some form of tuition reimbursement, a free book program, or mentorship.\nManage and retain top talentEasy time tracking, reporting, and payments\n3. Create a culture of open communication\nBe open about your goals and issues when speaking to employees. \nThis shows that you trust them and creates a collaborative environment, giving them the opportunity to offer ideas and ask questions.\nAn “open-door policy” doesn’t work when there’s no door to speak of, so encourage employees to speak candidly with you.\nIf you're part of a remote team, you should learn to communicate ridiculously well. Click To Tweet\nIf you happen to run a remote team, while it’s important to create a culture of open communication, you and your employees should also learn to communicate ridiculously well through email, chat, and webcam. \nHaving good communication structures in place helps remote employee retention because it gives them an avenue to connect with whoever they need to in order to be successful at their jobs.\n4. Set clear expectations\nContinuing with clear and open communication, make sure employees know exactly what you expect of them. If they don’t know what their job entails and what you want to see from them, they can’t perform up to your standards, and morale may decrease.\nA survey done by BambooHR revealed that 23 percent of respondents said that managers clearly setting expectations about responsibilities would have helped them stay at the company.\n23% of respondents said that receiving clear guidelines about responsibilities would have helped them stay at the company Click To Tweet\nThe best time to set clear expectations is during your onboarding process.\n\n5. Have a strong onboarding process in place\nEdmond Lau, ex-Quora engineer, previously explained that a bad onboarding process could cost you a potentially great employee.\nA strong onboarding process is key to keeping your top employees. The most important aspects are:\n\nCreate a 30-, 60-, and 90-day plan. This makes your expectations clear on goals for the next three months so you’re both on the same page from the start.\n\n\nCreate a new hire checklist. This includes accounts they should make, documents to read, and people to meet. The checklist accomplishes two things: 1) It gives them things to do right away and 2) helps them integrate and learn the company information and processes.\n\n\nHave at least three projects ready for them to take on. This will keep your new hires busy and give them an idea of what type of projects they’ll be executing.\n\nHave at least three projects ready for new hires to take on to keep them busy and engaged Click To Tweet\n6. Offer rewards and incentives\nRewards and incentives are one way to demonstrate appreciation for employees who meet or exceed expectations. \nDepending on the size of your company, you may offer stock options or bonuses, or something more simple like a nice dinner on the company.\nHowever, don’t restrict yourself to monetary incentives. \nRewards should also speak to employees’ emotional needs. Examples include recognition in front of the company (or via a company-wide email), clothing with the company logo, handwritten notes, thoughtful gifts, and so on. \nThese all contribute to the positive culture of the company, increase remote employee retention, and build morale much more than a simple, short-term monetary bonus.\n\nRecognize your top performersWith Hubstaff’s team dashboard with activity rates\n7. Be flexible with work hours\nA series of interviews conducted by Helene Jones, director of human resources at a medical communications company, exposed the importance of a flexible schedule and personal time off.\nThe reasoning for this is simple: sometimes employees need to change up their schedule or take an impromptu day off to tend to things like doctor’s appointments or family matters. The autonomy of letting an employee determine their schedule is a crucial item to retaining your A-players.\nAllowing employees to determine their schedule is crucial for retaining your A-players. Click To Tweet\nWhile you may have high expectations for employee productivity, it’s unreasonable to expect your team members to work during specific times (set by you) at 100 percent efficiency. \nA-players know when they’re most productive and can admit when they aren’t being productive. \nBy allowing employees to relax when they need to and create their own schedule, they can increase productivity and happiness.\n8. Make time for small talk\nWhile it may seem counterintuitive to waste time on small talk, these conversations allow you to get to know employees as complete people rather than just someone who works for you.\nThis humanization of the employer-employee relationship allows a unique form of loyalty to develop. It’s better to work with someone who treats you like a friend than someone who treats you as their workhorse.\n9. Provide regular feedback\nPhil Haack, engineering manager at GitHub, recalls a conversation with an employee who said, “I spent a lot of the six months hoping I didn’t get fired.” \nThat’s not something you want to hear from an employee.\nIt’s tough for remote employees to get the constant feedback that comes with day-to-day in-person interactions in an office. This makes it even more important to provide regular informal feedback in addition to formal evaluations so your remote employees don’t feel disconnected.\nRegular feedback outside of formal evaluations lets employees know where they stand, gets everyone on the same page, and removes the chances of a surprise during formal reviews.\nThe phrase that sums this all up is: make employee happiness a big deal.\nWant to keep your A-player employees? Make employee happiness a big deal. Click To Tweet\nIf you think about your employees as humans with needs and treat them as such, you’ll be able to create a better working environment for your best employees and keep them on your team.\nThese employee retention strategies will help you demonstrate that you trust and care about your employees, empowering them to continue doing their best work.\nRelated employee retention posts\nIf you enjoy this post, you may want to check out this e-book on how to manage your remote workforce.\nThis post was originally published December 7, 2015, and updated May 2019.