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Employee Turnover is Expensive. Keep Your Best Employees

Learn about the importance of connecting with your employees & the right management strategies to retain them.

5 Tips For Keeping Down Employee Turnover 

“Most employers think keeping their best employees is all about compensation,” said Gary Wright, Senior Vice President, Retail & Small Business Executive at Cadence Bank.

“Connecting with your employees is more important than most business leaders think. I want to know that my managers are connected with their people—that’s the way we keep the best and brightest.” 


As part of your employee retention strategy, Wright offers five simple and cost-effective ways to connect with and keep your best employees: 

1. Connect with your employees on a personal level: Wright suggests that most leaders find it challenging to make a personal connection with their employees. He regularly wants to know, “Can you tell me about the people on your team? Do you know what’s going on in their lives?” He argues, “It tells them you value them.” Connecting with employees isn’t difficult, but it does require regular and sincere effort.


2. Have consistent one-on-one time: “Your goal should be to help your employees succeed,” he said. “Make sure you understand where they want to be in their careers and how you can help them achieve their goals.” Wright suggests that by helping them advance and get where they want to go, they’ll feel like you’re not holding them back—and you’ll gain their loyalty. “It is your job to worry about their career,” he added.


3. Give them a voice in the business: People want to have a voice and make meaningful contributions to where they work. “Most places don’t give their associates, or junior people, a voice,” he said. “People get excited about the business when they feel their voice matters.” Wright suggests the command-and-control management style is an outdated approach that never really worked well, but it doesn’t work at all with those entering the workforce today.


4. Don’t stunt their growth: It’s sometimes a challenge to know what to do with high performers. Do you promote them? Do you keep them where they are because they are valuable in their current role? “In many situations, the best thing for the business is to think more about the individual than the business,” said Wright. “If we stunt their growth, we’re going to lose them to the competition.” Wright argues most people have a pretty good idea of where they fit and what their skills are. If you aren’t willing to recognize and promote them, somebody else will.


5. If it’s not fun, it’s hard for people to stay: That’s not to say that work shouldn’t be work, but don’t be so focused on the work that the workplace isn’t an enjoyable place to be. “Most people quit their boss,” he said. “And the boss is where a positive environment starts.” 

“Bosses who are silent seem to communicate the negative. People will tend to believe in a negative direction if you’re quiet, so you must let them know what you’re thinking,” contends Wright.
Communication can be just as important as compensation. And, although compensation is not to be overlooked, it’s not always the solution. “You have to value people,” said Wright. “That’s the real key to keeping your best people. What’s more, it’s not something you can fake.” 
Talk to a Cadence Small Business Banker for more useful advice on how to run your business effectively.


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