Finding a reliable team is a difficult task that requires good intuition, some risk and a little luck. But when you finally have people you can count on, you may be faced with the problem of holding onto them for the long haul. Keep these six words in your head when it comes to your staff:

Communication

Some may consider this a no-brainer, but it’s more than just having an open-door policy and asking employees about their families. It’s important to not only let your employees feel that they can come to you, but that you have a desire to come to them, whether it’s to ask for input on an important decision or seeing what they like about their position and what they wouldn’t mind being tweaked. 

Appreciation

This is not the same as compensation. Yes, your employees want to get paid well, but they also want to feel that you are truly grateful for their hard work. Are you spending enough time rewarding people with accolades when they do a good job? Are you making sure to show off their accomplishments to co-workers when they reach their goals? It means a lot in a culture that celebrates the “smallest of wins” and recognizes employees

Expectation

If your employees are doing ‘a good job’ there is a chance it’s because everything is too easy. This does not mean you should start heaping busy work on them and demanding overtime. Instead, make sure everyone feels challenged. Research shows that employees who feel part of a team or family are more productive.

Provocation

This isn’t provocation in the sense of starting a fight, but rather pushing past challenging your employees to make them feel that their job means something. When you talk to investors or potential clients, you speak with a passion about your work. There is a conviction that what you are doing is important and it’s imperative that enthusiasm is passed down to your employees so that they see the same picture and have a noble purpose. 

Exception

Sometimes, no matter what you do, you can’t hold onto a key employee. Whether they are moving on for personal, financial, or a mixture of reasons, you just aren’t able to make your business satisfactory to everyone’s needs. What’s important to remember is that once you find a new, stellar employee to fill the open spot, you have the tools at your disposal to hold onto them.

Compensation

Okay, this is actually a no-brainer.  People need a competitive wage that includes vacation and bonuses. Remember, paying valued employees well is not charity, but an investment. The numbers from the Modern Survey research show that while compensation is not the strongest driver of employee engagement, it is becoming more important and dissatisfaction with it is increasing.  Organizations need to be aware of the trends in attitudes toward total compensation and to ensure that a culture of engagement helps retain high performers who may look elsewhere if the compensation they desire is not met.