Retaining Key Staff

By Marc O'Dwyer - 11th Jun 2018

Find under: Advice

Once you hire great staff you want to keep them. After all, you invest a lot of time, resources and money into the people you hire. Looking after your staff, even in a small way, shows your loyalty and appreciation for their work. It might be the go to idea but increasing pay is not always the best or desired result. Here are some ideas for retaining key staff.

Make expectations clear

It may seem super simple. But do your staff fully understand the organisation’s expectations of them? In large organisations, roles and responsibilities are usually clear cut. This can get lost in small organisations where staff take on a range of responsibilities. When staff do not have a clear understanding of their role and your expectations, it is hard to perform well. This is not good for morale and productivity can diminish when staff do not know how they fit into the company.

Ask staff why they stay

Organisations are all too keen to find out why people leave. What they should do is also ask long-term staff what makes them stay. Ask staff questions like:

  • Why did you accept a job here?
  • What do you like about working here?
  • What do you dislike about working here?
  • Why do you stay?
  • Does the management structure work? How could it improve?
  • What about your job would you change or improve?
  • Do you have any non-negotiable issues?

Use this information to establish employee retention strategies that boost morale.

Reward performance

Rewarding staff performance is a great motivational tool to increase productivity. When you treat everyone the same, your high performing staff become demoralised. It does not have to cost you the earth. Reward with unexpected small rewards often rather than offering one off big rewards. Personal and professional development, and flexible work arrangements are other good ways to reward staff for a job well done. Here are some things to help motivate staff:

  • Collaborate with staff. Collaborate with your team. Ask them what they want. Get to know every team member. Understanding this helps you build better relationships. It shows respect when you take the time to know what is important in their lives.
  • Professional development. Professional development and training can be a great motivator for some staff. Most people want to grow. Offering attainable career paths can help retain staff when they can see a future.
  • Saying thank you. Do not forget to say thank you to high performing staff for their achievements. Publicly acknowledge individual achievements at team meetings. Even feature staff achievements on the company website. This gives a great sense of pride and appreciation which will help drive performance and productivity in all your staff.
  • Consider job enrichment. Consider making employee’s jobs more challenging. Provide challenging opportunities you know they have the skills for and will enjoy. This can improve long-term performance and staff culture.

Offer benefits packages staff want

These days providing health insurance and retirement plans are essential benefits as part of salary packages if you want to keep your staff. But there are others things like working from home and flex time that show you care about their lives outside work.

Small things count

Free fresh fruit in break out areas and monthly lunches are good for team building and rewarding hard work. So is free parking for those who drive to work. While it may not seem much, it can go a long way to showing your appreciation.

All this helps build staff morale and high performing teams that will never want to leave.


Here at Big Red Cloud, we want to help you and your business succeed. That’s why we made sure that our online accounting software is simple and easy to use so that you’re not bogged down trying to get the software to work for your business. Try our 30 day free trial now: http://bit.ly/BigRedCloud-FreeTrial

About the Author: Marc O'Dwyer

Marc is the CEO at Big Red Cloud, the easy to use online accounting software for micro, small and medium sized businesses. Having founded the company back in 2002 with the goal of helping companies to better manage their accounts, Marc also finds time to train and compete in Ironman and triathlon events in Ireland, the UK and across Europe.