Once you find great talent, you’ll want to hold on to it.
There are plenty of reasons for doing this, but Ken Lin, CEO and founder of credit and financial management startup Credit Karma, says maintaining the company spirit may be the most important.
"When you have loyal employees who have been with the company for a long time, you have the original spirit that was there when the company started," explains Lin, who has seen only six employees on his 100-person staff leave in the last seven years.
Here are three tips for retaining your most valuable employees:
1. Never ask your employees to do something you wouldn’t do yourself.
"Flexibility is a key to success and to keeping employees happy — particularly for small companies," Lin explains. He says at his small, growing company, everyone, including himself, wears multiple hats. "We do it all, from putting together Ikea tables to doing the dishes."
Some will argue that a CEO's time is extremely valuable because it doesn’t scale. "This is true," Lin says. "However, inspiring and leading by example is a virtue that is priceless as it scales across the whole organization and helps your company feel like one."
2. Create a great company culture.
As an employer, you’ll want to put an immense focus on not only building your company, but building the company culture into one that employees are equally committed to and excited about, Lin says. "There are the basic perks that many companies have, but what makes a culture unique is letting it grow organically."
For example, Lin says 30 to 40 employees have started a tradition of playing a game of Uno at almost every company gathering and outing. "Even if it’s just a silly card game it is something unique to Credit Karma’s culture. Building a culture organically is what makes people feel at home and want to stay with a company."
3. Let your employees dictate what the company is.
"My job is not about dictating what the company is. My job is about empowering people to do their jobs," Lin says. "People have the resources they need — I help guide their decisions." By allowing your employees to truly dictate what the company is enables everyone to be a contributor to the overall goal of the business. When they feel like their voices are heard and that they’re a part of building something, they are more invested and more likely to stick around, he concludes.
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