By Bryan Orr

When running a business with multiple employees, some of them being “top notch,” how do you ensure that they will stay with you? Often we think that the only way to keep the best employees with us is to constantly be raising their hourly wage and giving them whatever they ask for. Bigger checks usually help. Good wages are definitely something everyone is hoping for, but there are other things to consider, especially when you have talent on your hands.

Some employees respond much better to you giving opportunities that they may not find elsewhere. It will result in them growing, and increases the benefit you and your business can gain from their talent.

1. Let them solve problems their way.

You may run a business with a very specific set of rules and processes, and though there are times that you must stick precisely to a certain game plan, keep in mind that when people are able to independently work through problem solving in their particular style, they will benefit from that freedom and find more purpose and accomplishment in their work.

Leave room for flexibility within your processes.

2. Show them the future.

Always be looking forward with your team members, and remind them of opportunities and progress. When you’re seeing more long term, they will also start thinking more into the future and will not feel stuck in a rut working for you. You’re building a team that will have a higher percentage of wanting to stay together.

3. Let them think you are dumber than they are.

Maybe one of the more difficult aspects of being a leader who allows for independence within your team is that you may not always get credit for who you are. In fact, you might even appear idiotic at times to your team. They may think that you’re out of the loop and just don’t get what their job and their way of solving problems is like. That’s okay. Don’t strive for the “I’m the boss and smartest guy around here” status.

4. Hire the right people.

Not everyone will work well in the above conditions. In fact, you may give freedom and opportunity to some and they simply won’t know what to do with it. Or, they’ll run with it, but not in the direction that you want your business to grow.

When hiring new people, ask questions that explore what is important to the individual. The right questions will help you sense early on whether their thinking and desires are conducive to how you run your business and what you want from your team.

If you hire knowing what someone’s goals are, and also being aware that you can help meet them, you will stand a much better chance of keeping them around for the long haul. This may seem like a shock, but keeping great people is mostly about treating them like…. people.

What have you done to retain top talent?