Shawn Baker, President at Cochran, Cochran and Yale, answers some of the most frequently asked questions about employee retention:

How do I keep my best employees happy?

The truth is, companies may be spending too much effort and money on who they consider as their key employees, especially during disruptive periods of organizational change. During times of change your average performers may be more critical to successful organization transitioning than your stars or rainmakers. It’s important to look at everyone, and focus your efforts on those most critical and most at risk of leaving.


Where will I find our key players?

Short answer? Everywhere. HR and line managers need to work together during times of major organizational change to identify people whose retention is critical. For example, an R&D employee nearing retirement may not scream “irreplaceable” but he or she may be vital to steady product development during an upcoming time of change.


What can I do to make people truly want to stay?

Especially when making big changes at work, make sure you tailor your retention offers to each individual’s priorities. Some employees are looking only for money but some would more greatly appreciate help finding schools for their children, career counseling for their spouses, language training, or flexible work arrangements.


How do I let my employees know they are valued?

Money plays an important role in retention, but just as often a manager’s praise, leader’s attention, timely promotion, or opportunity to lead a special project matter more than cash.