"You're going to have some really good employees that you can't promote, and you can't pay anymore, and you're going to worry about losing them. So what do you do? You need to make them as comfortable as possible. You want to create a comfort zone that's really difficult for them to leave. That does two things:
- one, it makes it less likely that they're going to look for other jobs;
- and two, it makes it harder for them to accept other offers.
Comfort is a feeling. People feel comfortable. And to feel comfortable, you have to feel safe, certain, and successful. If people feel safe, certain, and successful, they're going to feel comfortable. And if they feel comfortable, it's harder for them to leave.
- People feel safe when you listen, but you don't judge them. When you empathize with them and when you let them leverage their strengths.
- People feel certain when you're available and consistent; when you give a lot of feedback and when you communicate timely and frequently.
- People feel successful when you remind them of their accomplishments, recognize them in front of their peers, and use them as a role model.
And remember, the more flexibility you can give someone, the better. The best way to create a comfort zone is to let someone design their own workday.
When you enable a comfort zone for someone, you generate some inertia. Safety, certainty, and success are gravitational forces.
People hate change. They prefer the status quo for a reason. But you have to give people reasons to stay. And safety, certainty, and success are powerful emotional reasons for people to stay.
So one final thing, don't ignore the elephant in the room. Acknowledge that people can make more somewhere else. It's okay, express your gratitude and appreciate their loyalty. And you demonstrate a safe space that's hard to leave."