How do you keep good people once you’ve worked so hard to find and train them? Well, that’s a question that seems to perplex many top level executives and business owners. Turnover rates at companies are at an all-time high. Here are a few things you can do to make sure that doesn’t happen to you and your company:

  1. Use the Golden Rule. Yes, we’ve all been told the Golden Rule when we were kids, but the reason it’s a “rule” is because it should always be applied. When you treat your staff the way you’d like to be treated, they will respond in kind. As Dave Ramsey says “They will respond in kind with increased productivity, production, and the way they treat your customers.” A great way to look at this is to think of how you’d want your child to be treated by his or her employer – treat your staff with the same level of love and compassion.
  2. Catch someone being great. All too often we spend time telling people what they are doing wrong. When you catch people doing things right, it triggers a response in the brain to get more of that feeling. When we’re conditioned to feeling good about doing the right thing, we’ll work hard to get it again and again. It’s the right kind of addiction for a thriving company.
  3. Give reprimands privately. When someone does do something wrong, and it will happen, make sure that you pull them aside and tell them privately. They will respect you more for coming to them directly and not in front of their coworkers. No one likes to be seen as a fool or a screw-up, but we all need to be aware when we’re steering the ship in the wrong direction.
  4. Give gifts randomly. There’s just something special about getting a gift or a card for no particular reason other than that you’re a great person. The gifts do not have to be large. They can be small – a hand written card, not an email, can do wonders for someone’s outlook. Your team is comprised of people and people have feelings. You may not know that they have a sick mother, or their child is having problems in school, or they are just simply down. A small showing of appreciation, especially when done seemingly randomly, can make all the difference in the world.
  5. You need to show up. Team are groups of people and as the leader, you need to show up to weddings, birthday parties, and other events. It’s not enough to show up to the office, work hard, and leave saying goodbye. You need to be there for your people in good times and in bad. You need to be there when a loved one of theirs is hurting. You need to send flowers on those special occasions and show them that they are loved. When in doubt, go back to the Golden Rule.

Keep no secrets. This should seem obvious, but in business it seems to be a hard practice. Often, CEO’s and business owners say things like:

“No one needs to know … they just need to do their jobs.”

“I don’t want anyone to steal our ideas.”

The chances are that your team is dying to know what’s going on – much more than you think. Uncertainty breeds fear and fear can be contagious. Fear is also crippling and that’s why most people avoid fear like the plague. Business leaders are the ones who can face fear more often than not, but it’s hard at times to remember that although you can face the fear, you’re also the one that’s in the know.

Follow these simple, yet effective, steps and your team will go to battle for you.

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