When it comes down to it, a company is nothing more than the total sum of its employees. Considering the fact that people can be quite different from one another, it’s a marvel that so many enterprises continue to be functional, let alone successful. But the truth is that companies that have reached the highest peaks in their respective industries generally owe that kind of success to their top employees. To that end, it’s useful to take a closer look at the productivity of your best performing employees, and see which of the following strategies can best be used to retain them long term:



Provide a competitive benefits package

This might seem like a no-brainer, but the first step towards instilling loyalty in an employee lies in rewarding him or her for their work. Now, smaller companies will never be able to compete with larger enterprises when it comes to money, but they can offer a whole host of other benefits that might be just as enticing. Everything from free lunches to access to a local gym or spa can make an employee’s life easier and more enjoyable, thereby raising your standing in their eyes and increasing your odds of retaining them for longer periods of time.

Offer constant opportunities for growth

Productive employees are often people who constantly wish to expand their horizons and learn new things every day. For them, stagnation is the real enemy, and any job that lacks consist growth opportunities will inevitably end up feeling like a waste of time. In order to keep such individuals motivated, a company should invest in things like training seminars and conferences, where people can go to acquire new skills or simply to develop their social network. Additionally, you should also take steps to provide a clear path to promotion for all employee levels, with commensurate salary bumps along the way.

Encourage their personal projects

Having an entrepreneurial mindset is a common quality among top achievers everywhere. These are the types of people who always seek to better themselves and the world around them through their actions, and they often have no choice but to feel constrained by repetitive or tedious work. To that end, it’s a good idea to create a context through which their creativity can be expressed, preferably something along the lines of Google’s 20% program. This way, you’ll be allowing them to work on their own projects, which may very well lead to innovative practices down the line.

Use contests to incentivize your employees

Most people have a naturally competitive spirit that can work wonders if properly harnessed, but which unfortunately tends to get lost by the wayside in most modern companies. If you truly want to get the best out of your employees, organize regular competitions that will allow them to win prizes when hitting certain work-related benchmarks. A little bit of healthy competition can be stimulating and invigorating in a work context, but make sure you don’t overdo it, lest you risk stirring up discontent among your employees.

Keep communication lines permanently open

By and large, human beings are social creatures. Therefore, the best thing you can do to maintain cordial relationships with your top employees is to simply talk to them on a regular basis and seek out their input with regards to the company. Often called “stay interviews”, such talks usually cover topics ranging from business growth ideas to identifying areas that need improvement. Stay interviews are a great way to build trust with your employees, and should be organized at least once per year. In addition, employees need to know that the door is always open when it comes to voicing complaints and asking questions.

In conclusion, developing a clear and coherent strategy for retaining your best employees is essential to the long-term viability of any enterprise. While it’s true in theory that everyone is ultimately replaceable, in practice such a laissez-faire attitude to human resources management tends to erode the image of your company and may even end up threatening its existence. So take steps to ensure that your top performers feel appreciated and nurtured within your company, and you’ll maximize the odds of reaching new heights together.

About Mila Payton:

Mila Payton holds a BSc in International Business. She enjoys reading and writing about education, career and business. When she is not working, she spends her time with family and friends.