My clients (SMBs) keep telling me that employees don’t stay.

Correct, they don’t.

We know this. It is fact. And there is no indication that it is going to change. As such, I have pretty much reduced myself to begging business leaders to stop dwelling on the inevitable and start focusing on how to get the most out of their people while they have them.

Some suggestions;

Improve onboarding – the faster we get new people productive, the faster they will contribute towards the goals they were hired to achieve. Someone once told me projects don’t fail at the end, they fail at the beginning…meaning invest UP FRONT for best results at the end.

Management Development – effective managers develop strong teams. Strong teams deliver results. While employees don’t stay long they still want to learn, contribute and leave with accomplishments. Your managers are the ones who need to drive this. Make sure your managers are well equipped to be good at what they need to do. Most managers don’t want to manage and are not good at managing. Figure out how to get the most out of them too, including moving them to a different role if need be.

Build an alumni network – when employees leave, thank them for their contribution and welcome them to your company’s alumni network (CREATE ONE!). Invite them to your office 5-7s and other events, and see them as long-term ‘friends of the firm’. They will feel valued and will send good people they know your way…which will save you money on recruiting costs. Win/win.

Investing in your employees, regardless of how long they stay, will pay off. Add these costs in to your next budget and make it happen. Your customers will thank you and the results will make all your stakeholders smile.