The cost of retaining a strong employee is significantly less than the costs associated with the recruiting, hiring and training a new employee. When did you last meet with your employees -on either a personal or professional level, just one on one? It could be a regular performance review or it could be a half hour away from the office to check in to make sure all the pistons are firing.

Trust, respect and integrity are built with connection and interest in others. Just as you do with inquiring about customer needs, make sure that you are addressing and solving the professional needs of the people in your organization – and that they are addressing the needs of the company.

Inquire about how the company and the work satisfies the development needs of each person – or how it might not be. Be clear about how the employee’s role and work meet the needs of the company. The more examples that you can provide, the more the person knows that you care about their efforts and accomplishments.

Talk about the things that would make life/work run more smoothly – new technologies, beer fridge, flexible schedules – and talk about the successes that need to occur to bring those ideas to fruition. It becomes a partnership.

In their book, Love ‘em or Lose ‘em, Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans surveyed 17,000 employees across multiple industries to understand the reasons why employees stay with an employer. The top 10 are:

1. Exciting work and challenge
2. Career growth, learning and development
3. Working with great people
4. Fair pay
5. Supportive management/good boss
6. Being recognized, valued and respected
7. Benefits
8. Meaningful work and making a difference
9. Pride in the organization, its mission and its products
10. Great work environment and culture

Pay and benefits, number 4 and 7 respectively, are the objective things you can establish for your company. The other eight are aspects of a vibrant and positive culture that are built over time, though the focused efforts of a caring leadership. They are the intrinsic motivators that drive employees further than any dollar or day off ever could.

Does your organization satisfy the needs of its people? Are they excited and challenged? Do they have a pathway and the tools to build their career ladder? Is the pay structure equitable to promote the right behaviors in the team?

Take the time to investigate with your people, dream with your people and have honest conversations with your people. Use this information to build the organization into a stronger, more flexible and desired company that is positioned to grow into the future.