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What you can do to make sure your best employees stay

By Vision Reporter

Added 27th June 2010 03:00 AM

GONE are the days when two week vacations a year were enough to keep employees happy. A good employee can walk out your door today and have a better job tomorrow. And your customers will follow him or her.

GONE are the days when two week vacations a year were enough to keep employees happy. A good employee can walk out your door today and have a better job tomorrow. And your customers will follow him or her.

By Lola Naggayi

GONE are the days when two week vacations a year were enough to keep employees happy. A good employee can walk out your door today and have a better job tomorrow. And your customers will follow him or her.

Which brings up a very important question, what can you do to keep that person from even thinking about going to work elsewhere?

Patrick Bitature, the chairman of the Investment Authority, says, “Employers should realise that money is no longer the reason employees stay with a company for years. Money is just 50%. Employers should offer opportunity to employees to learn something new. It’s always a good idea to keep employees challenged so they do not get bored and think of leaving the job.”

Bitature adds that employers should show trust in employees by delegating authority and responsibility to them.
“The delegation helps and satisfies the needs of employees’ esteems. It also improves their sense of being part of a team,” Bitature adds.

Kenneth Kitariko, the managing director of African Alliance, says companies must have retention policies.

“As a boss, you should be willing to give bonuses, interest-free loans, pay health insurance, offer educational assistance and cars so that the morale of employees is boosted so that whenever they think of leaving the company, they also think of the allowances they get.”

“Provide a good working environment so that employees feel proud to be part of the company’s vision. Good interaction between management and staff will also make good feedback, which in turn, makes employees happy,” Kitariko adds.

He urges companies to try and improve on their performances and have a good brand, because , “people like to be associated with successful companies.”
As for Florence Kata, the managing director of Uganda Export Promotion Board, employees should find out what makes their employees happy and better performers.

“They should motivate, pay well, appreciate and invest in employees through trainings. An employer’s willingness to make investment in employees helps to build a positive image among employees. Employees will always be looking out for such trainings to learn more and this might make them stay,” she says.

“Bosses should give career paths which can make employees believe that there is room for growth. Promoting employees who have done a great job sends a signal to other employees that they have career advancement opportunities without changing the employers. This will stop them to move to other companies for better career opportunities,” Kata adds.

Isa Ssekitto, the spokesperson of Kampala City Traders Association, says that since the best employees are marketable, they should be respected and given high slaries.

“Recognising them makes them feel that there work is adding value to the organisation. Do not wait for them to leave and start throwing appreciation in their absence. Always recognise those who work hard. Performance appraisals that emphasises the positive will help build the reputation of the employer,” Ssekitto stresses.

He adds that even if you do not pay your workers handsomely, you should be friendly to them. Use both command and tolerance, Ssekitto advises.
As a manager, you should try to be on the same level with your employees and give them room to do what they want.

“It does not hurt once in a while to consult your juniors and employees. Pride at the work place is a total put off,” he says.
As for Andrew Sseremba, an accountant with Watoto Child Care Ministries, companies are one entity.

“Since teams are expected to work together to accomplish goals, they should also celebrate together when the goals are accomplished. Celebrations express the employer’s appreciation. It is during such celebrations that employees bond. It will be very difficult for employers to leave the company”.

Jackie Naggayi, a managing director, says that bosses should communicate regularly to their employees to find out what they need. “Listen to their complaints and problems. This will make the employees feel like they are part of the organisation,” Naggayi adds.

What you can do to make sure your best employees stay

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