As a manager, you’ve no doubt put a lot of work into building a great team. You’ve recruited and trained employees of a high caliber and, as a result, operations are running like a dream. Now, how do you ensure that your team members stay? Here, we offer you a tried and true three-ingredient recipe for employee retention: trust, challenge, and appreciation.


Employees do their best work when they know they are trusted to do their jobs wells. Micromanagement, on the other hand, hinders performance. Rather than looking over your team members’ shoulders while they work, or checking the clock when they arrive, keep your eye on the bigger picture. Do they always meet deadlines? Do they communicate well and keep you in the loop? Do they produce quality work? If so, lay off and let them do their jobs. They will feel empowered and take ownership of their responsibilities in a more meaningful way.


People innately long to reach their fullest potential. Therefore, when employees aren’t stretched by their work, they may become bored and complacent. The sweet spot seems to lie in assigning work to team members that is challenging enough to keep them engaged, but still within the realm of what they can actually accomplish. In order to figure what tasks to assign to your employees that fall within this range, think about each of your employees as unique individuals. What are their talents and strengths? What kinds of projects seem to spark the most joy in them? Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be able to assign work to your employees that helps them feel like they are growing, and they will be more fulfilled in their positions.


Everyone likes to be appreciated; it’s human nature. Make a point to “catch” your employees doing well, and say something about it. For example— “thank you for being so patient with that customer,” or “you always meet your deadlines; you are so dependable.” When you acknowledge something positive that your employee does, they are more likely to repeat the behavior. You’ll also be creating a positive workplace culture where your team feels valued, and will in turn, enjoy coming to work.

Once you have built a company culture rooted in trust, challenge, and appreciation, you’re bound to see higher productivity, lower employee turnover, and, as a result, a healthier bottom line.