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Job market musical chairs: 3 ways to build trust and actively retain your employees

If you’re like most organizational leaders, you’ve probably had the experience of watching great employees leave your company. Maybe you’ve even felt a little helpless to stop them from going. You may have also felt the pain and cost of recruiting and onboarding a great new employee, just to see them leave a few months or years later. It’s a vicious cycle, but there are ways to break it so you can retain your employees.

In this post, we’ll explore three ways to build trust and actively retain your employees. Trust is key in any relationship, but especially so when it comes to employee retention. When employees feel trusted by their managers, they’re more likely to be engaged in their work and less likely to look for other opportunities. So how do you go about building trust and motivating your employees to stay? Here are the best three ways to retain your employees!

1. Stop the bleeding and keep individuals from walking out your door:

The best way to start retaining your employees is by stopping them from leaving in the first place. In some cases, this means intervening to stop someone from leaving by addressing their specific and immediate concerns. If you’re already at this point, it may be too late for some, so preventing employee turnover always starts with creating a positive work environment. There are many things you can do to achieve this, but some key tactics include providing meaningful work, cultivating a sense of team spirit, actively communicating with individual contributors and teams, and showing your employees that you trust them.

Trust is an essential piece of the puzzle. If you can show your employees that you trust them, your employees will feel a sense of ownership and pride for their work and the organization as a whole. This will help them develop a connection with you and the organization and make them less likely to want to leave.

2. Figure out why your talent is leaving and nip it in the bud:

Are your employees feeling like they aren’t being heard? Do they feel like their feedback and opinions don’t matter? Maybe they feel like they aren’t being given appropriate time off or are looking for better compensation. There are so many triggers within a company that will prompt your employees to look for something else. It is essential to figure out what that trigger is within your organization.

One way to figure it out is with a Proactive Employee Retention Conversion (or PERC for short). Some people call them Stay Interviews, but either way, they are planned conversations you can have with your employees periodically that will help you understand how they’re feeling and what they need to be happy at your organization. This allows you to address these issues before your employees make the move to leave.

Pro tip: these interviews should be done with managers of various levels, not just the employee’s direct supervisor. Managers communicating with their subordinates’ teams may help you discover issues that employees may not share with their direct supervisor.

3. Proactively address your employees’ concerns:

Once you understand and address the most common reasons why your people are leaving, it’s time to peel back the cobwebs and have open and honest conversations with your current employees about what you could be doing better.

Have they felt stymied in some way? Do they feel like there is little room for growth within the company? Do they feel as though they’re being treated unfairly when new employees are hired? This information can help you assess the overall temperature of your workforce and help drive improvements in the organization’s culture as a whole.

This is where employee engagement surveys can be incredibly useful. Employee engagement surveys can help you get an idea of issues and concerns that need to be addressed. This gives less-than-satisfied workers an opportunity to safely open up about how they are really feeling. Managers, on the other hand, can focus on keeping your existing employees happy and making sure they are given every opportunity they feel they need to be successful.

Where do you start?

By taking these steps, you’ll be on your way to creating a positive work environment where employees want to stay for the long haul!

When understanding why employees leave, it’s important to remember that every situation is unique.


If you’re struggling to retain your employees and you are not sure where to start, please don’t hesitate to reach out for help for a complimentary and confidential conversation about your specific situation. Flynn Barrett Consulting specializes in helping organizations understand and address the factors that influence employee retention. We can work with you to develop a plan tailored specifically to your company and its needs. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and get started!

Revel Coach Spotlight Member Kerry Flynn Barrett is an experienced HR consultant with a proven track record for strengthening healthcare organizations through strategic, pragmatic, and patient-centered/best in class HR practices. As a registered nurse and a hands-on HR solutions expert, she has assisted healthcare organizations to develop their workforce to create a culture of high performance, accountability, patient satisfaction, and employee engagement. With nearly 30 years leading human resources teams, Kerry has experienced and found solutions for every imaginable HR issue.

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