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Employee Retention: What Makes Them Stay

By Tanya Dusek, HR Manager for Davis Development

In today’s market it may not seem that employee retention is a key factor for consideration in our business models, but in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. The cultures or work environments created today are the core to retaining people that other companies would like to have. Employers must always be vigilant to keep the top performers, in good or bad economic times.

So, how is it done? Creating an environment that is fun, comfortable and encouraging is critical to employee retention. Keeping an employee once they are hired is a purposeful effort and it takes work to make it happen. Most people can recall a time when they were completely caught off guard with an employee’s resignation. Or perhaps they recall a time when they wished for a resignation, and ultimately it resulted in an involuntary termination. Most managers who have experienced this situation still experience the emotion from that memory.

How do you set the proper stage for a new employee?
Setting the right stage or tone is seventy five percent of retaining an employee. When you consider that time spent hiring the right employee is an investment, protecting that investment becomes more of a goal. Cultural considerations are an important first step in setting a tone for the new employee. To begin with, an employee will want to know the company’s vision and purpose, what it is all about… if you will. Since this is an important item for your newly hired employee, be prepared to discuss your company’s philosophy with your new employee in some detail. Employees want to know the “whys” behind what they are asked to do.

How to communicate when expectations are not being met – Important keys

1. Honesty

Reflect on your behavior and know the importance of acting ethically

Speak frankly, respectfully, but always truthfully

Refrain from gossip or discussing other employees with those who have no need to know

Avoid conflicts of interest

2. Timeliness

  • Never let it wait
  • Address behaviors when they occur

3. Follow through and options

  • Suspension vs. Termination
  • Documentation needs
  • Importance of exit interviews

Understanding your role in retaining key employees enables you to reduce costs and avoid lost productivity. With NOI a real concern for each of us, productive work environments are a must have. By enhancing your skills in retaining key employees you also gain respect of others and are recognized as a mentor and leader for others.

Tanya Dusek is HR Manager for Davis Development and has won the Industry Achievement Award at HAA for HR in both 2000 and 2003. She is a guest blogger for Hire Priority.

About Hire Priority
Hire Priority is a privately held staffing and recruiting company that specializes in the placement of apartment, healthcare and administrative professionals. We provide local and national searches from our offices in Houston and Austin. Visit us today at and see how we can help you!

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