9 ways to best engage and retain top employees

Top execs and middle managers alike face a common quandary: How can we sustain our vibrant culture? Walking the tightrope between vitality and consistency depends on communication at every level.

It’s a common staffing dilemma.

It’s less expensive to retain good employees than it is to hire and train new ones, but a dynamic workforce has to change continually so it doesn’t become stagnant or closed-minded.

You must engage your staff throughout their tenure, consistently bringing in new talent while supporting the valuable members of your team.

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Try these approaches:

  • Attract new employees. If you allow your team to age without bringing in new talent, its collective productivity will suffer. Every organization needs refreshing by bringing on new team members. If your business is growing, you may be hiring at a rapid pace. Even if your goal is to sustain growth, you’ll still need a hiring plan to account for attrition or for internal personnel shifts.
  • Offer mobile workforce technology. With more and more millennials entering the workforce, a company that does not offer mobility will miss out. Millennials thrive on flexible schedules, and they want to use their personal smart devices for work purposes. If you still require all your employees to come into the office every day to clock in and out or attend tedious boardroom meetings, you’ll find it difficult to attract this generation.
  • Encourage remote work opportunities. When recruiting, make sure you have a system in place that allows employees to work remotely. Many looking to switch jobs or entering the workforce after graduation want a schedule that works for them. Many desire to work from home to facilitate their family schedules, or they want to be free to travel to remote offices or client locations while staying connected to the home office.
  • Keep valuable talent engaged. Continually hiring replacements is time-intensive and costly. Set protocols to keep valuable employees happy and productive, while attracting new talent and weeding out poor performers.
  • Emphasize company culture. A thriving company culture will entice to those looking to join your team and will ensure that current team members feel valued and motivated. Having a system for instant workplace communication, even if employees aren’t in the same office, is a key factor. A culture is determined by how your team members interact and support one another, as well as how leaders provide encouragement and other feedback.
  • Provide training and development opportunities. Your team members should know you are committed to enhancing their success through training and development opportunities. However, it can be difficult to facilitate these programs for staff members who are not available to come in for training or who cannot attend offsite seminars or conferences. With the right technology, you can provide these opportunities through video conferencing, allowing them to be part of the development training without upsetting their flexible schedules.
  • Give senior leaders a chance to shine. Senior leaders can feel left behind if they aren’t brought into the new mobile workforce environment you are creating. Keep them in the loop, and give them plenty of opportunities to lead the next generation.
  • Provide easy communication tools. You can’t expect those who are used to clocking in at 8 a.m. and out at 5 p.m. to immediately embrace mobile immersion. You must provide easy tools they can master quickly. More than likely, even your senior leaders already use personal smartphones or tablets, so letting them use them for work tasks can ease the transition.
  • Never disregard their experience. No matter how much you might value younger employees who can set up a four-way Skype conference in seconds, do not discount the value your senior team members bring to your organization. Use of technology pales in comparison to experience, so appreciate it and communicate its value to your next generation of employees. Let your veterans head up meetings and train new team members on their specialties, and give them ample opportunity to communicate their expertise.

A successful workplace includes an engaged, productive team that embraces new talent but values its existing workforce. Having a strategy for the entire employee lifecycle is key to your company’s success.

A version of this post first appeared on Advance Systems.

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