As businesses become more and more competitive, simply filling open positions isn’t enough. You need to acquire the right talent. You also need that talent to stick around.

Unfortunately, the talent market isn’t working in your favor. Good employees are hard to come by and many employers are wrestling with high rates of turnover and attrition. One MetLife study revealed that only 66% of employees said they were planning on being in their same job in twelve months.

So how can you bring in those coveted, quality candidates and get them to stay?

It’s about more than just recruitment. It’s about building a winning team and a creating a culture that makes people want to hang around.

Here are ten things high performing employees want you to do:

1. Learn their motivations – Inspired employees are happy employees. Uncover what drives your team and help keep that inner fire burning. In doing so, you’ll create a situation that is fulfilling, rewarding, and hard to walk away from.

2. Give them a challenge – Smart, creative people love solving problems and trying new things. Without such opportunities, even your best employees can quickly become bored. Provide a healthy dose of challenge to keep your team interested and involved.

3. Empower them to do great things – Hardworking employees love taking ownership of their work and making an impact. Employees will get much more excited about something they actually helped create than something that was simply dropped on their desks.

4. Invest in their career – Motivated employees value career development. One study showed that 46% of employees listed limited opportunities to learn new skills as the top reason they were bored at work. Keep growing your staff so they can keep growing your business.

5. Give them a voice – Strong performers may also have strong opinions. It takes a confident leader be comfortable giving employees a legitimate voice. Allow this to happen in your company and you will have the admiration of everyone in it. This doesn’t mean you have to make every decision by consensus, it just means you need to listen before you decide.

6. Value them as individuals – Take a genuine interest in your employees. Get to know them. Learn what they like and what makes them unhappy. Viewing your staff members as people first and employees second will earn you their respect, appreciation, and loyalty.

7. Recognize their work – This means more than just not taking your employees for granted. It means actively acknowledging the time and effort your team puts in every day. It also means accepting that not all recognition is created equal. What works well for one person may not mean much to another (see numbers 1 and 6 above).

8. Treat them fairly – Nothing destroys loyalty faster than favoritism. Employees want to know that everyone is being treated equally. Create a culture of fairness and consistency. Whether you’re talking about company rules or rewards, make sure your policies are applied evenly to all.

9. Prove they can trust you – Trust is critical to your ability to cultivate talent and build loyalty. To earn it, you’ve got to have integrity. Do what you say and say what you mean. Be honest. If you make a promise, keep it. If you make a mistake, take responsibility.

10. Lead by example – A great leader doesn’t just tell people what to do. A great leader gives people vision, inspires them to action, and provides the tools they need to be successful. If you have the courage to allow your employees to take ownership of the vision and the leadership to take your organization to new heights, your team will happily follow you there.

Attracting and retaining employees isn’t easy, but with consistent effort in these areas, you can foster an environment where employees want to jump onboard and stay onboard. Create an environment that builds people up instead of dragging them down and watch your business soar.

Really Great Employee Benefits is your source for HR trends, information and compliance. Please contact Brent Yarkin, a SHRM Certified Professional and RGEB’s HR Services Team Lead, with questions on how to improve your business’s people operations processes at 818-444-7722 or

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