Checkmate: Solving the Problem of Employee Retention
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

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It can seem like a never-ending game of chess. Answering the question of how to retain great employees is one that stumps even the most able of employers. Unfortunately, even human resource departments tasked with monitoring this issue are often operating at a loss as to how to solve it.

[Related: Good to Go: Strong Hires That Are Ready to Work]

A recent study published by TINYpulse, notes that a lack of employee investment and engagement is certainly part of the issue. “Organizations that don’t invest in their employees and [fail to effectively engage them] are just asking to be outmaneuvered by their savvier, more progressive counterparts.” What you do after initially wooing your employees seems to matters a lot. Well, a whole lot. Go figure.

If you’re interested in retaining top talent, you’ll have to be proactive and focus on creating an optimal employee experience as you thoughtfully navigate this issue.

Here are some key strategies for attracting and maintaining gold star employees:

1. Take the time to hire quality employees. The need to run a “well-oiled machine” can put companies in an awkward position. The rush to hire new employees, especially when trying to name a successor, is taxing. But, if finding a good fit is really the goal, then time is better spent discovering competitive options rather than executing a “quick fix,” which hurts the company and its employees in the long-run. Moreover, the indirect costs associated with a quick hire increases exponentially and can easily reverberate throughout an organization. The need to re-train, re-hire, re-execute work and even re-negotiate relationships can wreak havoc on social cache as well as the bottom line.

2. Set clear expectations from the outset and be consistent. Ensuring that everyone is on the same page is critical to success. To stack the deck in an employee’s favor, choose to set clear expectations early on and consistently reinforce them. This strategy alone will optimize company outcomes. Two frequent complaints among employees (both old and new) is ignorance of expectations and lack of consistent standards. There’s nothing worse than bumbling around in the dark so-to-speak and hoping that what you’re doing is right. By being proactive, a company can easily avoid these kinds of missteps.

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Karima Mariama-Arthur, Esq.

As the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of WordSmithRapportâ„¢, Karima brings more than two decades of comprehensive, blue chip experience in law, business, and academia to the field of professional development. A leading authority in cutting-edge adult education, Karima is distinguished by her commitment to excellence and extraordinary talent for elevating executive brands. As an expert facilitator, executive communications consultant, and strategic leadership advisor, she trains, coaches, and consults individuals and organizations on the dynamics of complex communication and high performance leadership competence. Her shrewd ability to identify nuances and empower clients to achieve greater purpose and impact is what makes Karima an indispensable asset to many. Follow her on Twitter: @wsrapport. Get smart tips on Facebook: And, learn more about professional development consulting at: