Create a Workplace Employees Will Not Want to Leave

By Gerald Walsh ©

Companies want to hold on to their brightest and best employees. So why is it that most companies don’t notice that an employee is unhappy until after they give their notice? What can be done to reduce the risk of losing talented workers to other organizations?

Here are a few tips you might consider to increase the likelihood that your employees will be satisfied with their job and decrease the chances of them leaving:

1. Recognize that you have to manage people differently, depending on their age and circumstances. For example, the work / life balance expectations of a single, 27-year old employee who is just starting a career, may be different than a 36-year old with two kids, a mortgage and a working partner. One size does not fit all.

2. Provide your employees with challenging and interesting work. My experience is that this is far more important than compensation. For the most part, individuals want work that builds new skills, strengthens their portfolio of experience, and positions them for advancement in the company, or possibly outside the company.

3. Help your employees understand the ‘big picture.’ Most individuals, regardless of rank, want to know the long-term vision of the company not just short-term targets. Communicating your vision will motivate them to work toward that goal as it helps them understand just where they fit.

4. Treat your employees as people. Much the way you do, your employees have a life outside of work that involves family, fitness, clubs, education, or other interests. Flexibility around working hours, days off, or working from home, can go a long way to building loyalty.

5. Look for opportunities to praise accomplishments. A sincere ‘thank you’ for a job well done does wonders for an employee’s morale.

While pay and benefits are important, rarely is the decision to leave a company, and join another, based on compensation alone. You only have to be fair and competitive in this area.

I would like to receive your comments and questions about this topic. Please email me at and I will respond to you.

Gerald Walsh is an executive recruiter, career coach, public speaker and writer. During a 25+ year career, he has interviewed more than 10,000 job candidates, completed hundreds of successful searches for a range of organizations and guided many individuals – from young professionals to senior executives – to successful career change. He is the author of “PINNACLE: How to Land the Right Job and Find Fulfillment in Your Career.” You can follow Gerry on Twitter @@Gerald_Walsh and LinkedIn