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January - 2009 - issue > Entrepreneur

Retaining the Best Employees

Gunjan Sinha
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Gunjan Sinha
During these difficult and retrogressive times, it becomes particularly important for companies to retain their very best employees and leaders. Often times, as companies are in the mode of retrenching for survival, they overlook the value of their best employees, leaders, and teams. Both startups and established companies thrive on the drive and tenacity of these employees who have proven themselves time and again. As the economic climate turns difficult, it is quite easy for entrepreneurs and business leaders to overlook the value and contributions of these indispensable employees and contributors. So, how does one effectively retain these ‘star’ employees during such difficult phases of business?

Know your ‘A’ Team

It is important for you to know your ‘A’ team or ‘star’ team - employees that are super critical for you to achieve your business performance and objectives. These employees are the heart and soul of your organization, driving revenues, innovation, customer satisfaction, and operational excellence. It is also important that these employees explicitly hear from you that they are indeed special. Being explicit with your feedback will give them the additional sense of comfort that they are being valued in the organization.

Make them More Involved in your Core Business Strategy

Now is a good time to get your core team to get even more involved in shaping the strategy of the business. If you had been reluctant in the past to share with them all the financial risks and challenges, now is a good time for you to become more open and honest and bring them in the loop. This additional vote of confidence and trust will further enhance their loyalty towards you and the business. Business leaders use the downturn and difficult times to further raise the commitment levels from their top performers. This may be a good time to have strategy sessions focused on establishing a game plan for the future. How can we reduce cost, without risking revenues and innovation? Let your team start creating strategies for you.

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