Why You Can’t Seem To Keep Great People: A Letter to Employers, Small Business Owners, and Entrepreneurs – PART II

In part one of this two-part series, I discussed the importance of understanding why you can't seem to keep great people and outlined ten key steps for employers to take to create an environment that attracts and retains top talent. I covered topics such as investing in employees’ development, offering recognition and rewards, and creating a culture that fosters collaboration. In the following segment of this series, I will explore further solutions to workplace issues, such as open communication and collaboration, while delving into the importance of equity and inclusion.

ELIZABETH ALARCON - LEADERBOARD AD - Why You Can't Seem To Keep Great People- A Letter to Employers, Small Business Owners, and Entrepreneurs - PART I
Why You Can't Seem To Keep Great People- A Letter to Employers, Small Business Owners, and Entrepreneurs – PART I

Part I Recap

Expose the Issue – Uncover why your top-tier employees are leaving before they reach their full potential

  1. Employee surveys are a great way for employers to get feedback and valuable insight into their employees’ experience.
  2. Researching industry trends can help employers stay competitive in the job market and make employees feel appreciated. Understanding what potential employees may be looking for is key to creating an attractive package that will keep them motivated and prevent them from leaving.
  3. Reviewing employee exit interviews can provide valuable insight into why exceptional employees have left the business, allowing employers to make necessary changes to retain and support their staff better. This should be considered a last resort, but it is an excellent way to uncover what could motivate them to leave.

Examining Factors – Analyze why people seem to leave your company, including lack of recognition, career opportunities, and poor culture.

  1. A toxic work environment can lead to an exodus of great employees; thus, it is necessary to take the time to review employee feedback and get a better sense of how your organization is perceived. As leaders, we must be honest about what could be improved and how to create a healthier work culture.
  2. Companies must provide ample professional and personal growth opportunities to attract and retain top-tier employees.
  3. Recognizing accomplishments is essential for keeping high-performing employees engaged. Providing timely rewards, incentives, and verbal appreciation can show them that their hard work has been noticed and appreciated.

Now here's Part II.

Addressing Solutions – Tangible solutions employers can use to help retain their best talent

Employers often think it's all about the money, but it isn't. You can't always throw money at this issue and expect it to resolve itself. Smart employers will understand that it's not just a matter of offering promotions or bonuses. Instead, it requires creating an environment that adds value and keeps people engaged with their work and motivated to stay on the job.

If you're an employer looking for ways to retain your most valuable employees, here are a few suggestions that have proven successful:

1. Provide flexible working conditions

Consider offering remote work opportunities, flexible hours, or other perks that make it easier for employees to do their jobs and balance other aspects of their life. People are not robots. They need rest, relaxation, and time for themselves and their families. Offering flexible working conditions can help them achieve this.

If your brick-and-mortar business allows employees to work remotely, why not take advantage of this situation and let them do so part-time? The increased employee satisfaction will be worth it, even if only a few days per week.

2. Creating a positive work/life balance

If your employee’s job involves long hours or strict deadlines, finding the time for leisure activities outside of work can be difficult. You can help employees balance their professional and personal lives by offering incentives like paid vacation and parental leave.

Long hours are the symptom of a larger issue. You can address this issue by looking for ways to increase productivity, such as streamlining processes and introducing better technology. When you pile more duties on team members as a means of economizing, it can harm morale. Always keep the bigger picture in mind when making decisions.

3. Implement employee wellness initiatives with creative ways to reduce stress and promote mental health.

Incorporate activities that support mental health and reduce stress, such as yoga classes, meditation sessions, or other creative solutions. Even something as simple as a monthly team breakfast or lunch can be a great way to foster camaraderie and build relationships between employees. Leave the office talk back at the office. Instead, use this time, even if it’s just once a month, to get your people talking and connecting positively.

It's also important to create an open and inclusive work environment. Open communication and an understanding of different cultures can help foster respect and appreciation among employees, which leads to greater loyalty.

4. Working with a mission

Remind your team of the purpose behind their work—what they are striving for. This can help foster a sense of purpose and engagement.

Share your organization's goals and allow employees to be involved in achieving those goals. This helps to connect them to the bigger picture, which can be a powerful motivator. You can also provide feedback on a weekly or monthly basis so workers know they are making progress and that their efforts matter. Keep up with what's happening in the industry, and keep your team informed about changes that may affect their work.

5. Celebrate accomplishments, and don't forget to give feedback!

Recognizing and rewarding good performance is essential. Promote a culture of appreciation by acknowledging hard work, celebrating success, offering rewards and incentives, and providing constructive feedback.

The idea isn't to try to buy people's loyalty; it’s about showing that you value their contributions and recognizing their hard work. When employees see that their efforts are appreciated, it can help motivate them to stay and continue performing well.

ELIZABETH ALARCON - BLOG POST QUOTES - Why You Can't Seem To Keep Great People A Letter to Employers, Small Business Owners, and Entrepreneurs - PART II - CHRISTINE LAGARDE
“To me, leadership is about encouraging people. It's about stimulating them. It's about enabling them to achieve what they can achieve – and to do that with a purpose.” – Christine Lagarde

Encouraging Open Communication – Stress how important it is to create an atmosphere where people feel comfortable discussing their ideas and concerns.

It is invaluable to create an environment where people feel comfortable discussing their ideas and concerns. Employees who feel supported and encouraged to express themselves openly are more likely to stay with the company long-term, as it allows their opinions to be heard and taken seriously. Employers should strive to foster this atmosphere within the workplace – both on a team level and from management’s perspective – to keep people engaged, enthusiastic, and motivated at work. Establishing open, transparent communication channels between people at all levels is fundamental for successful business operations. When people feel appreciated for their contributions, they become more committed to helping the company succeed.

1. Providing meaningful feedback and recognition

I know I'm repeating myself, but it's THAT IMPORTANT!!

To keep employees engaged, motivated, and productive, feedback is essential. Provide meaningful feedback that lets team members know they are progressing and that their work matters. Give positive reinforcement when team members reach goals or improve performance. Suggest areas for improvement along with concrete ways how to do it. This helps them to understand what needs improving and gives them direction on how to do it.

Recognition is equally important. Acknowledge hard work and celebrate successes. People feel valued when praised for their efforts and accomplishments, which leads to greater loyalty and commitment. Make sure that recognition is given for big wins and small successes along the way, as this reinforces the importance of effort and progress. Acknowledging people’s work helps them to stay motivated and encourages them to continue striving for excellence. This can help build a productive, engaged team culture in the workplace.

Always find ways to express your appreciation!

2. Encouraging Open Communication

Encouraging open communication is key to creating a workplace that values and respects employees’ opinions. Create an environment where people are comfortable expressing their ideas and concerns without fear of repercussions or judgment. This can be achieved by actively listening to employees, providing feedback, and acknowledging their input.

Team members should also be encouraged to share their ideas with their immediate colleagues and upper management. This will ensure that all voices are heard and allow teams to collaborate on projects more effectively. Additionally, create forums for employees to communicate openly and share their thoughts, concerns, and questions. This can be done through meetings, roundtables, or online forums and chatrooms. Making sure everyone knows their voice is heard will help to foster a culture of collaboration within the workplace.

Creating an open communication environment helps ensure employees are treated fairly and respectfully. It also helps identify improvement areas and build trust between management and employees, leading to greater job satisfaction and loyalty. Taking the time to listen to employees is an invaluable investment that will pay off in the long run.

2. Creating a positive work culture through team-building activities

Team building activities are a great way to boost morale, increase engagement, and foster collaboration within the workplace. These activities range from informal social gatherings to organized events such as outdoor adventures or professional development workshops. Regardless of the type of activity chosen, team-building helps create a positive work culture by allowing employees to bond, learn about each other and share their experiences.

Team building activities help to create an environment where employees feel comfortable working together. This can be particularly beneficial for newly formed or recently restructured teams, as these activities allow team members to get to know one another in a relaxed setting. Team-building also helps build trust and foster collaboration between team members, improving communication and increasing productivity. Taking time to engage in activities outside of work also helps create an atmosphere of fun and enthusiasm that can boost morale and increase job satisfaction.

Team building is a valuable investment for any workplace, as it can increase engagement and productivity and promote employee collaboration. Investing in team-building activities can foster a sense of unity amongst team members, which is essential for a successful workplace. Taking the time to invest in these activities will help to create a culture where employees feel valued and respected, which can lead to greater loyalty and commitment from staff.

3. Having an open-door policy for employees to express their concerns or issues

An open-door policy for employees to express their concerns or issues is essential for creating a workplace where people feel comfortable and respected. This means all team members should be encouraged to approach management with any issues without fear of repercussions or judgment. To make sure this happens, communicate the policy clearly and make sure it is consistently applied.

This open-door policy can also be extended to employees seeking mentorship or guidance from management. Empowering employees to discuss their goals and ambitions in a safe environment will help them develop professionally and feel more connected to their team. Additionally, an open-door policy allows managers to get feedback on improving the workplace and ensure everyone is heard.

Encouraging employees to express their opinions, concerns, and ideas creates a culture of collaboration, respect, and trust. This can increase job satisfaction, employee retention, and improved productivity. Communication between management and staff is essential for any workplace, so creating an open-door policy is an invaluable investment for employers. Taking the initiative to actively listen and address employees’ concerns can foster positive relationships between management and staff, leading to greater job satisfaction and loyalty.

4. Encouraging employee autonomy when it comes to decision-making and problem-solving by involving employees in decision-making processes

Encouraging employee autonomy regarding decision-making and problem-solving is a great way to foster workplace collaboration, creativity, and ownership. Allowing employees to take responsibility for their decisions and tasks will make them more engaged and motivated to perform well. Additionally, allowing employees to think for themselves allows them to make decisions based on their strengths, knowledge, and experience.

When it comes to decision-making processes, open communication is key. Involving employees in the process shows that management values their opinions and encourages participation. This will also help build a collaborative team atmosphere where employees feel empowered to speak up and offer their ideas. In addition, it will help break down silos and foster a sense of ownership for all team members.

Encouraging autonomy when it comes to problem-solving is also important. By allowing employees the space to think critically and come up with their solutions to challenges, they will develop a sense of pride and ownership. This helps build team members' trust by showing that everyone’s contributions are valued.

You can create a work environment where employees feel empowered and respected. Investing in initiatives such as team-building exercises, open communication practices, and permitting employees autonomy when making decisions or tackling issues is essential to cultivate a thriving workplace environment. By investing in these strategies, employers can better retain their staff and create an environment where everyone feels like they belong.

Promoting Equity and Inclusivity – The importance of creating a safe work environment for all employees regardless of gender, race, etc.

It's not enough to discuss inclusivity and diversity in the workplace; employers must be willing to do the work required for a safe and supportive environment. Being an ally means putting time and effort into recognizing the unique experiences of each employee, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds, and working together to create an atmosphere of respect and understanding. Genuinely empowering diverse groups of employees is critical to being truly inclusive; don't just bring employees on board; empower them with your support. Employers can ensure their teams reach their full potential by creating an environment where everyone feels seen, heard, and respected.

1. Create a diverse workplace that celebrates individual differences and provides equal opportunities for all.

Creating a diverse workplace starts with having thoughtful recruitment and selection processes. Diversify your team by actively recruiting from underrepresented groups and considering candidates of different backgrounds for all levels of positions. Ensure that the job description is void of gendered language and does not contain any language which could limit qualified applicants or be considered discriminatory. Ensure everyone can access the same information and resources, so job seekers can be selected equally.

Once hired, employers should create a workplace culture where employees are encouraged to bring their unique perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences. This means fostering an environment where everyone feels comfortable expressing themselves freely without fear of judgment or discrimination. People who feel accepted and respected can focus on doing their best work.

2. Ensure the workplace is free of any discrimination or prejudice.

It is the responsibility of employers to ensure that their workplace is free from any discrimination or prejudice. Employers should take steps to prevent discriminatory behavior in the workplace, including training employees on anti-discrimination policies, implementing a zero-tolerance policy for any discrimination or harassment, and conducting regular surveys and focus groups to assess the effectiveness of the policies.

Employers should also ensure equal opportunities and access to resources for all employees. This includes providing equitable pay, benefits, career progression opportunities, and work environment standards regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or other personal characteristics. Employers should also ensure that decisions are made without bias and investigate any potential instances of discrimination. By creating a truly inclusive workplace, employers can foster an environment where everyone is respected and accepted, allowing employees to reach their full potential.

3. Provide training and resources to ensure employees know diversity policies and procedures.

Providing training and resources to ensure employees know diversity policies and procedures is key to creating a safe workplace for everyone. Incorporating various techniques, such as seminars, workshops, discussion groups, and online learning modules, can help the team learn about different perspectives, broaden their worldviews, and become more inclusive leaders. This training should emphasize the importance of cultural sensitivity, respect for individual differences, and understanding each other's perspectives.

Providing access to resources such as books and articles on diversity topics can also help employees better understand the culture around them. Open discussions about how different backgrounds influence decision-making processes, keeping up with current events or engaging in activities celebrating various cultures are all great ways to educate on inclusion. By actively fostering a more diverse and inclusive workplace, employers can create a safe and respectful environment where everyone feels respected and appreciated.

Ultimately, it is incumbent upon employers to take steps to ensure their teams are composed of people from different backgrounds.

4. Creating a non-competitive atmosphere where collaboration is encouraged over competition

When employers foster a non-competitive atmosphere where collaboration is encouraged over the competition, they create an environment where employees feel respected and valued. This atmosphere allows employees to focus on their work and do their best without constantly comparing themselves to others. Collaboration also allows employees to share their unique perspectives and ideas, which can lead to better outcomes for the organization.

Employers should also strive to create a workplace culture of trust and respect, where everyone is considered equal contributors. Employers can create an environment that allows everyone to thrive by encouraging employees to work together and utilize each other's strengths.

5. Collaborating with employees to find solutions that work for everyone

Collaborating with employees to find solutions that work for everyone is the most effective way for employers to ensure their teams are made up of great people. Employers must take the time to understand their employees’ needs, listen to their concerns and ideas, and work together toward a solution that works for all parties involved. This collaborative approach makes employees feel valued and respected, as their ideas and opinions are taken seriously.

Employers should also strive to create a culture of open communication and problem-solving, where employees can comfortably discuss issues or raise concerns without fear of retribution. This culture will encourage an environment where everyone’s voices are heard, allowing creative solutions. Additionally, employers should actively solicit employee feedback to see how their initiatives impact the overall workplace culture and morale. By taking these steps, employers can create an environment that allows employees to reach their full potential and remain motivated and engaged.

This will lead to greater job satisfaction, increased productivity, and higher retention rates. Ultimately, employers should strive to create an environment where employees feel respected and valued and can work together to find solutions that work for everyone.

By taking these steps, employers can create an environment that values employee contributions, encourages open communication, stresses inclusivity, and fosters a sense of belonging. When everyone feels welcome and respected at work, they are likelier to stay, and the organization will benefit from long-term success. In turn, this helps employers attract and retain great people.


Employers must create an inclusive and supportive environment where everyone feels respected and valued. By fostering a culture of collaboration, open communication, trust, and problem-solving, employers can create a workplace that allows employees to reach their full potential. Employers can create an environment that attracts and retains great people through various initiatives such as education on inclusion, fostering non-competitive environments, and actively soliciting feedback. Ultimately, taking positive steps to ensure employee satisfaction and engagement is essential for the long-term success of any organization. Successful companies understand that keeping great people onboard begins with knowing how to properly recognize, appreciate, and motivate them – it's all about teamwork!

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