Creating a workplace that attracts, retains and engages people is important, no matter what the economy is doing. The key point to remember is, talented and skilled people are always in demand; the more skill and talent they possess, the more likely they can leave you for another organisation. Employers should not only be concerned about retaining the people in their employment, they should also focus on creating an environment that makes them as productive as possible, even during troubled economic times.

People change, and what they are looking for in a job changes too.  Today’s workforce are looking for more than just a pay slip – they want to work for a company that’s willing to invest in their careers, help them grow, and provide a little bit more support.  This is how you keep your business vital and competitive in the face of new challenges without losing the value of experience where it really counts.

Attracting and retaining employees is all about creating a culture that really cares – making sure your reputation as a great employer precedes you.  Show your staff you’re in for the long haul, and they will be too.

How do you attract and retain employees?

The key to attracting and retaining top talent is to be more than just the employer people settle for.  It’s about offering more, and creating an emotional attachment with your employees through positive experiences.  An employer that cares and makes an impact is the kind that builds that attachment.

Some of the ways small Businesses can make it happen:

  • Understand individual employee goals
  • Engage them through communication and transparency
  • Show you value them by getting them involved
  • Make it easier for them to do their job; create a positive work culture that fosters a tight-knit team of passionate employees.
  • Build personal relationships – one that puts them first and shows them you care
  • Offer a flexible work environment and schedule
  • Provide opportunities for advancement that align with your employees’ strength and values
  • Recognize, appreciate and reward hard work

Recognize, Reinforce and Reward
Money and benefits are important factors in attracting and retaining people, but reward and recognition helps to meet that basic human need to feel appreciated and rewarded for what one does. A successful reward and recognition program does not have to be complicated or involve money to be effective.

Involve and Engage the Workforce
People may show up for work, but are they engaged and productive? People are more committed when there is a process for them to contribute their ideas and suggestions. Employee engagement is not the same as employee satisfaction, though they are related.  Satisfaction refers to the level of happiness or contentment experienced at work.  Nor is it the same as employee performance  -how effective you are at your job because, even a top- producing worker can be disengaged.

Engagement is different because it requires self-direction and intent.  Engaged employees bring a strong sense of personal motivation and emotional commitment to the job.  Because you help them and take time to appreciate them, they understand how their daily work fits into the bigger picture and affect the organization as a whole.

Questions employees ask:

How meaningful is this work to me?

How safe is it at work to be myself?

Am I empowered to do this work?

What employees need:

To understand how their work fits into the bigger picture

To feel valued

To be able to be themselves at work

To feel the freedom to experiment or make mistakes

Freedom to make decisions

What managers can provide:




Peer (two-way) feedback


Clear objectives