Two women with short hair sit facing each other in a room with whitewashed walls. Both of them have one hand on the table next to them and each hand is slightly raised in a conversational gesture. The woman facing the camera has dark hair and is wearing a navy blue button-up shirt. The woman facing away from the camera has white-blonde hair and wears a white turtleneck and large hoop earrings.
One way to prevent employees from leaving for other companies is to listen to their concerns. Solicit feedback anonymously, or meet with employees one-on-one to get their thoughts. — Getty Images/fizkes

If your business is successful, you likely have a hardworking, talented team — which your competitors might notice. If they do, they may attempt to lure your employees over to their organization with higher salaries, better benefits, or career advancement opportunities.

If key competitors are poaching your employees, here are some ways to navigate the situation.

Reevaluate your compensation and benefits

Employees want to feel valued by their employer, and the most direct way to show this is through fair compensation and a competitive benefits package. If you don’t offer an outstanding salary and good benefits, your competitors can provide more alluring packages to get your employees to jump ship.

Give your most loyal and hardest-working employees raises as frequently as your budget allows. If your company is not in a financial position to give raises, tie employee performance to a commission or bonus. When employees reach a certain metric or goal, they’ll earn additional financial compensation.

Benefits are another way to show your employees you appreciate and value them. In addition to required benefits such as health insurance and dental and vision coverage, you can offer additional benefits such as free gym memberships, unlimited PTO, and retirement options.

[Read more: 7 Health and Wellness Benefits You Can Offer Part-Time Employees]


Listen to your employees’ concerns

Salary, benefits, and responsibilities are common workplace issues that cause employees to leave, but they’re not the only factors. Take time to talk with each of your employees individually and listen to their concerns and feedback. As a leader, you may not be able to make changes that accommodate everyone, but your employees will feel empowered when they’re heard. If you believe there are major issues employees are uncomfortable speaking up about, allow your employees to submit feedback anonymously, so they don’t feel singled out.

Improving your company culture will not only retain your employees but also attract top talent to your workforce.

Create a career plan for your employees

No other company will know the ambition, goals, and skill set of your employees better than you. Capitalize on this advantage by talking to each individual employee about their career goals and where they see their future at your company. Together, you can develop a timeline for career development and training that can lead to a greater role and higher salary within the company.

Improve your company culture

According to a Glassdoor survey, 77% of people consider a company’s culture before applying for a job. Many employees want to work for companies that value work-life balance and employee satisfaction. When discussing your employee’s concerns, ask them questions about your company’s culture, how they respond to it, and what they’d like to see changed. Improving your company culture will not only retain your employees but also attract top talent to your workforce.

Conduct exit interviews

You can find out directly the reasons why employees are leaving by conducting exit interviews as they transition out of your company. An exit interview is an opportunity to ask employees directly why they are leaving and what could have been done differently during the tenure of their employment. Through these interviews, you’ll be able to find any common factors between your employees and address them with future hires.

Implement non-compete agreements

If you’re making positive changes at your company and employees are still leaving for your competitors, it may be time to implement a non-compete clause or agreement into your contracts. A non-compete agreement prohibits employees from working for a business that competes with yours or starting their own competing business for a certain period of time after they leave your company. In addition to ensuring employees don’t work for competitors, these agreements protect trade secrets, confidential information, and client relationships.

[Read more: 5 Small Business Owners Reveal Their Best Employee Retention Strategies]

If you’re noticing a lot of resignations, you may want to calculate your turnover rate through a simple mathematics equation. Take the number of separations during a month divided by the average number of employees, multiplied by 100. To get these numbers, you’ll need to calculate the number of employees you have, the average number of employees, and the number of separations. This number will help you quantify your turnover and take better control of it through the above methods.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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CO— is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Published August 05, 2022