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April 18, 2011 Blog 1 min read

Picture your most valued staff member—that loyal pinnacle of client service, technical knowledge, team spirit, and productivity. Now picture that person expressing the unthinkable: She’s leaving your company for another position. What do you do? Do you offer more money? A promotion? Adjust her schedule or discuss her unlimited future potential with the firm? Do you point out just how valuable she is to the firm and how much you appreciate her efforts? These words might have been effective last month or even last week but, odds are, it’s too late now. You’ve lost her.

As companies, we tend to put a lot of energy into recruiting the best and brightest talent. Retaining them…that’s another story. We often tend to equate staff satisfaction with monetary compensation, but studies show that as long as compensation is fair, money isn’t a major factor in staff turnover. What is? Rerecruiting.

The idea behind rerecruiting is to think about how you’d react if a valued staff member were to leave and then react proactively. It’s a retention strategy, and it incorporates things as simple as saying “thank you” (one of our founders called it “making an art out of appreciation”), getting to know staff on a personal level, and celebrating team successes to more complex initiatives like implementing a mentoring program or an effective performance management system.

Plante & Moran instituted its rerecruiting initiative some 20 years ago now, and the business case is substantial. Not only is replacing talented individuals costly, but retaining them is good for business. Rerecruiting initiatives yield higher staff morale, which results in better teamwork and lower turnover, which results in happier clients and a better bottom line. This, in turn, allows us to reinvest in retention initiatives. It’s cyclical, and we’re happy to report that it’s worked well for us.

What about you? Do you invest in retention initiatives? What kinds of things do you do to show staff appreciation? We’d love to hear your input.