If you find yourself muttering these words you are not alone!

By Allison Duda

At Drive, we help our clients focus on culture driven recruitment and retention solutions. One of the most important tasks is to focus on keeping your superstars.

It’s All About Relationships

It’s important to build a deep relationship with your superstars. The goal is to create an environment where they are deeply engaged in their work. If you already use a coaching model, great! If not, you (or their direct supervisor) should consider carving out meaningful time to regularly meet. Here are some simple questions that will help you keep your stars:

  • What first attracted you to this field?

  • Where do you see yourself in (1, 3, or 5 years)?  

  • What outside interests are important to you personally?

  • Is there something you wish you had more time to do?

7 Tips

Here are 7 tips to consider as you develop your retention strategy:

  1. Encourage staff to participate in community professional activities. For example, make it easy for them to attend local professional meetings, workshops, and annual conferences. Better yet offer free meeting space to host their next meeting.

  1. Develop a relationship with a certificate or university program.  

    • Offer opportunities for volunteer or observation hours

    • Become a student practicum site

    • Offer to speak to students and give them real-world perspective on coursework

    • Participate in job fairs

    • Develop research partnerships 

  1. Build up or increase visibility into special services that you offer to your community. For example, offer free support groups (which employees can attend!). If your home has a religious affiliation, welcome team members to participate in services. Offer additional in-service programs on personal development skills.  

    Hold health fairs and again remember to make sure that you’re making it easy for employees to participate. My favorite, shameless plug for my buddy who works for Music Together, host a Music Together class onsite for your residents and make it easy for your team members to join the class with their little ones!    

  1. Create a mentor program. Having mentoring programming during the onboarding process is a great way to benefit current superstars and newer employees. Your seasoned superstars can pass along their expertise, help answer questions and build a stronger sense of community. It will for sure benefit those doing the mentoring as much or more than the new team members. 

  1. Offer continued professional development. While you might worry about the financial impact of offering continued professional development, this is considered a significant benefit to many. It’s okay to set parameters (for example must be with the company 2 years and the certificate or degree must be directly related to furthering their career within your community). You can also create scholarship programs or help employees apply for grants. 

  1. Tools to do the job. If you’re unfamiliar with Gallup’s 12 statements of employee engagement this one might seem out of place, but it belongs! Employees need the tools to do their job, otherwise what happens? They get frustrated and leave.

    One way of providing this support is to ensure that your community is well-equipped with up-to-date materials, assessment tools, and technology. If you’re being honest with yourself and saying it’s not up-to-date, try inviting a few of these superstars to join a committee focused on making it happen.

    Inviting team members to join a committee is a great form of recognition. It solicits their ideas and keeps them actively engaged. 

  1. Good ole’ recognition. It feels good to be recognized for hard work and commitment. Keep in mind research has shown that different types of recognition and benefits are meaningful to different people.

    Some team members will feel honored to join a committee; others might see it as a major annoyance.

    Here are a few examples of how you can offer different types of recognition:

    • Increased flexibility in work schedule

    • Public acknowledgment of performance

    • Private acknowledgment of performance (a meaningful handwritten letter)

    • “Dress down” days

    • Gifts to recognize exceptional performance or customer service

    • Support for transportation or parking costs

    • Additional leave

    • Celebration parties (years of service, completion of a project, etc).

Good luck getting your retention program moving. If you need a quick jumpstart, reach out to us at Drive and we can help you steer the course.