8 Ways to Make Your Top Performers Happy

And keep them from leaving your firm.

Keeping your employees happy isn’t just a nice thing to do; it’s essential to your law firm’s success.

After all, it takes time, money and emotional energy to replace an employee. And the more essential and productive the employee, the more it costs to recruit and train their replacement.

Having talented employees exit your firm can also stress existing employees who have to take on extra work until the role is filled.

“One of the best ways to keep your company growing is to retain core talent,” according to this US Chamber of Commerce post. “Companies value employee retention because it costs time and money to replace employees, especially productive ones. Given this, retaining your top employees should be a priority.”

Below are some pointers the Chamber recommends for holding on to top talent.

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8 Tips for Keeping Key Employees

  1. Pay them well. “One of the most obvious ways to retain your top workers is to offer better-than-average salaries and excellent benefits,” says Sean Ludwig, who authored the Chamber’s post. “This can lock employees in and encourage them to stick around for the pay and perks alone. You can also provide a specific retention bonus to give incentive to stay with the company.”
  2. Listen to them. “Creating a culture where employees can freely speak up – within reason – can keep employees engaged and wanting to stick around. Many employees may not want to speak up for fear of retribution, so it’s important to make sure workers feel comfortable calling out things they’d like to see changed,” says Ludwig.
  3. Solicit feedback. This goes a step beyond listening to actually requesting suggestions and comments from your team. Make sure they aren’t pressured to give feedback or punished for what they say. Consider doing an officewide survey – make it fun! – followed by a staff meeting where you share the results over pizza.
  4. Let them do what they do best. “Micromanagement harms morale and takes away the opportunity for employees to create better results for themselves,” says Ludwig.
  5. Show that you appreciation them. Studies show that praise, acknowledgment and encouragement are even better motivators than money.
  6. Reward employees who stand out. Those who consistently go above and beyond their minimum duties should be rewarded for the extra effort. Come up with a process for tracking productivity and outcomes over time so that you can identify top performers.
  7. Invest in their professional development. “It may be tempting to keep your best employees in the same position with the same duties,” says Ludwig. “If they are performing above expectations, why change what they are doing? But employees who do the same tasks, again and again, can also grow complacent. If they ask for more or to change things up, entertain the idea seriously.”
  8. Be flexible. Every member of your team has unique circumstances and needs. Work with them as individuals. Some may prefer to work in the office fulltime. Others may need to be at home some of the time. Being flexible shows that you respect them as individuals – and that’s a huge incentive for them to stick around.

What about your firm? How do you keep your top performers happy?

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