# 1 - Recognition and Respect
Great employees continue to prove themselves every day. Recognition and respect from peers and leadership further solidifies the bond between a great employee and the company.
Respected employees stay because they would have to start over at ground zero at a new company. Once again working to earn recognition and respect from a new employer.
- help set and maintain the productive rhythm of the company.
- mentor others.
- step up when needed without being asked.
- have unique talents and expertise that are obvious.
In return, the great employee's work and contribution earns them recognition and respect at all levels of the company, especially leadership. Again, the key word is "earned."
#2 - Provide Emotional Investment
Give employees a reason to be emotionally invested in their work and the company. There is a point where a great employee's passion for their work and the vision/mission of the company intersect. That point where "the work" of the great employee and the "vision/mission" of the company intersect is the single most influential factor why great employees stay.
Emotionally invested employees stay because they deeply and truly believe in their work and the company.
- Have a deep emotional connection that both the work and the great employees believe in what the company stands for.
- Feel their work is that much more important.
- Feel that what the company stands for is worth protecting and fighting for.
- Believe that "work is much more than just work".
#3 - Create a Workplace that has Purpose and Meaning
There are long-term employees that stay simply because they're comfortable.
Employees that align with your purpose and meaning stay because the work is a collective effort because of the people they work with and the company they work for.
Purpose- driven employees:
- have unique talents;
- want to excel and succeed by doing work that has purpose and meaning;
- want to somehow change and influence lives for the better;
- thrive on being part of something that's innovative and ahead of the competition.
#4 - Opportunity to be Part of Something Special
Yes, culture is huge. Being part of "something special" goes deeper than the definition of company culture. Culture is the collective thinking and behavior of a company.
Employees who feel they are part of a greater whole stay because giving up that something special is giving up too much.
Employees who feel they are part of something special:
- have an emotional connections;
- have a sense of pride;
- feel they belong;
- most importantly, feel exclusiveness.
#5 - Gifted and Talented Co-workers
Great employees are almost always surrounded by other gifted and talented co-workers.
Great employees stay because of the inherent growth and shared learning experiences that surround them, and would be extremely difficult to replicate elsewhere.
- feed off one another's creativity;
- challenge one another to get better and more innovative;
- cultivate friendships and creative partnerships with one another;
- learn and grow at a pace and in ways that are unique to their company.
#6 - Be a Trustworthy Leader
A company's culture is a reflection of leadership.
Employees who trust leadership stay because they can trust that leadership has their back. They can trust that leadership will make the best decisions for the company. They trust that when things go sideways, leadership will get the company back on course.
- earn trust;
- are fair;
- are caring.
#7 - Culture is Irreplaceable
Keeping a company culture pure is the toughest and perpetual work of leadership. And when leaders get and keep it pure, the culture achieves a uniqueness that cannot be duplicated.
Culturally-driven employees stay because separating from the culture is a deeply personal and professional price to pay. And should they separate, they will yearn to be part of it once again.
A pure culture is:
- free of drama;
- the company's most effective employee-retention tool.
#8 - Fair CompensationI saved the money/benefit reason for last because it only comes into play when one or more of the nine preceding reasons fall apart. Money becomes a factor when fairness in compensation is compromised. Relentless and consistent hard work deserves to be fairly compensated. Open and ongoing communication about individual and company performance is essential.
Great employees stay when they can focus on doing great work and contributing to growth … and trust they will be fairly compensated.
Here's our challenge to you: Take a seriously hard look at the state of the emotional and relationship connections your company has with its great employees and how it's nurturing those connections with all employees. It's not just about the money. It's about what the company stands for and creating an inseparable bond with the hearts and minds of its employees.