This week one of our Yoast-team-members left the company. She found another great job. She’s moving on. A few weeks ago, she looked rather nervous. That’s when she told me she found a new job. I felt so sad. To be entirely honest, I even felt a bit rejected. Luckily, I was able to get myself together rather quickly. I congratulated her and asked about her new job. Today, we had a little going-away-party. And that’s that. She’s gone…

Finding new employees is daunting. So, if you finally hire someone awesome, you want him or her to stay at your company for a long period of time. So, how do you do that? How do you make sure that your employees stay with you? This is a blogpost in a series about company culture. In this post, I explain what we do to make sure that our employees want to stay at our company.

Make sure the job is awesome

The most important thing an employer should do to make sure that people want to stay at their company is to make sure the job is awesome. People should enjoy the things they do in their jobs. They should enjoy their work. And they should be able to grow and evolve. They should be inspired and challenged. If you want your employees to keep working at your company, you’ll have to invest in coaching them, talking to them, making sure they’re happy with what they’re doing. I wrote a post about my dislike of job titles that is all about making sure that people love their jobs.

Make sure that the workplace is fun

The second thing you should do is to make sure the atmosphere at your company is safe and fun. If people like going to their work, if they feel safe and relaxed, chances are much higher they’ll be staying with your company. Company culture is so very important. At Yoast, we do lots and lots of activities that are focussed on making people feel at home. We want colleagues to get to know each other. We want people to become friends. Thats why we organize events and fun outings that’ll enable people to interact with each other outside the work environment. If you know and like the people you’re working with, you’ll stay. If you feel at home, you’ll stay. It’s pretty simple.

Make sure to reward people adequately

The third thing you should do in order to keep your employees is to reward them adequatly. Employees should be paid a fair salary. For a lot of people, money isn’t the most important reason to stay or leave a certain job. However, if people feel that they’re not making enough money, they’ll have a high chance to go and look for another job. If other companies are paying far more than your offering, you’ll have a high chance of loosing your employees.

Make sure people feel appreciated

Salary isn’t the only way to reward people for their work. People should also feel appreciated at a human level. They should feel appreciated and important. At the end of the year, we give our employees a share of our profits. But we also write them a Christmas card. All four board members of Yoast write something personal on each and every Christmas card. We write down our appreciation. We thank them. And a lot of our employees actually say that the Christmas card is just as important than the money.

Writing our Christmas Cards – Joost, Michiel, Omar and Me

Let your employees know that you appreciate them. Let them know that you like the fact that they continue to work for your company. Thank them for their loyalty, for their time, for their motivation. Make sure they know that they matter.

Let them come back

Two of the employees that left Yoast in the past, actually came back to work with us again. That made me very happy. And that’s why I gave a special postcard to the lovely lady that left us today. It is a ‘Get out of jail free card’. Our address is on it and I already put a stamp on it too. If she wants to come back to Yoast, she only has to fill out the card and mail it to us. You never know…

The get out of jail free card – in Dutch

Published by Marieke van de Rakt

Marieke is the CEO at Yoast. She has a PhD in social sciences and the mother of four kids.

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