Don’t Let the Good Ones Get Away: 5 Steps Every Manager Should Take to Retain Star Employees

Retaining Star Performers

In the current hiring environment, there’s risk that your star employees could be wooed away by other firms in need of highly skilled accounting and finance professionals — and willing to compete fiercely for them.

If your star employees do decide to leave, replacing them could take time. Research by our company shows that it can take as long as four weeks to hire for an open staff-level position in accounting and finance — and up to five weeks for a management-level role.

With the costs, time and difficulty involved to replace top performers, would you stop them from walking out the door if you could? Boosting your retention efforts can help. Here are five steps every manager should take to retain star employees:

1. Re-recruit your best workers

Talk with employees about what might enhance their job satisfaction, and remind them of the unique benefits that your company provides. Emphasize what your firm has to offer, whether it’s a great corporate culture, solid financial standing or strong industry reputation.

Try to have these discussions on a regular basis. Also, be prepared to listen to your workers’ needs and concerns, and to act on any requests that you consider reasonable.

2. Offer opportunities for career advancement

Structure positions so star employees can grow their careers without leaving your firm. Offer promotions to workers who have demonstrated they can succeed at the next level. Also, think about succession planning as a way to help valued staff members better visualize their future at your firm. Other opportunities, like job rotation, can also give workers the chance to earn skills and experience that can help them reach the next rung of their career ladder.

3. Help employees understand how their work makes an impact

A survey by our company found that more than half of professionals (53 percent) seek more insight on how their day-to-day duties make a difference to the organization. So, be sure to help your staff understand how their contributions impact the bottom line so that they will feel more engaged. (See this post for tips on how to help your employees make the connection.)

4. Re-evaluate compensation regularly

Money isn’t everything to employees, but it’s an important piece of their overall job satisfaction. Stay current on compensation trends by reviewing industry reports such as Robert Half’s latest Salary Guide for the accounting and finance industry. Even during periods when you can’t raise salaries, there may be other compelling rewards and perks that you can provide, such as spot bonuses at the end of a major project.

Visit our Salary Center to download a free copy of Robert Half’s 2017 Salary Guide.

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5. Promote work-life balance

When possible, give top staff members the option to follow a flexible schedule or telecommute one day a week. It doesn’t cost anything to implement these changes, and employees will appreciate the leeway, as well as the opportunity to achieve better balance.

Provide project support

A final tip: You can't expect star employees to work at or beyond capacity for sustained periods. When workloads rise, project consultants can provide additional support to your core team. These professionals can also be brought in for short-term but critical initiatives that require time and specialized expertise your existing staff may not have.

These are just some strategies that can help you retain star employees. For more ideas, visit Robert Half’s Workplace Research Center. There, you can access a wide range of resources on topics ranging from how to maximize employee productivity to creating a leadership pipeline of millennial talent.

Explore Workplace Research

More resources for managers

More Responsibility, Less Sweat: How New Managers Can Find Balance: New to management? See this post for tips that can help you steer clear of common missteps and succeed at staff management.

7 Ways Leadership Is Changing — and How Financial Executives Can Respond: In a survey by our company, two-thirds of CFOs said being a business leader today is more challenging than it was five years ago. Read this post to learn about the challenges that many finance leaders and their teams face.

Interim Management Consultants Can Help Employers Shoulder a Long Hiring Process: Augmenting your staff with an interim management consultant can help ensure your business is covered while you search for skilled candidates to fill full-time, senior-level positions. Learn more in this post.

Robert Half Management Resources – Areas of Specialization: Whether your organization is expanding, consolidating, restructuring, or undergoing a complex systems conversion or pursuing an IPO, we can provide highly skilled senior-level professionals to help move your business forward. Contact us for more details on how we can help.

Call us at 1.866.568.5367

This post was originally published in August 2014 and has been updated to reflect more current information.