Great employees are hard to find. Unfortunately, they’re also hard to keep. In an attempt to match your momentum, your biggest competitors may attempt to poach the best tools in your toolbox. Those companies need to offer a prettier package to take away your rock star employees – they may offer salaries that blow yours out of the water, or a position of elevated importance. You might not be able to give your employees the same things your competitors can, but that’s alright. Give them something better.

Empower Your Employees

It’s often said that people don’t quit jobs – they quit bosses. If management is driving your employees crazy, they will happily run right into the arms of your competitors. Loosen up the leash on your strongest employees. If you can trust them to do their jobs well, let them use their best judgement to get things done. Freedom is respect, and no amount of money in the world can buy respect. Demonstrate their value by elevating their autonomy. They’ll have a hard time finding a competitor that will value them the same way.

Give them Freedom and Flexibility

Work isn’t life – life is life. If your employees feel as though their jobs are getting in the way of their happiness, they’re prone to run for the hills. They might leave a great desk job for a fast food job if they feel as though it’s the only way they can spend time with their loved ones and pursue their passions. Employees should never need to feel that way.

Prioritize work-life balance. If 8 hours of work needs to be done in a day, let them do it however they please. If a two hour break in the middle of the day to watch their daughter’s hockey game or their son’s cello recital will make their lives better, let them come in earlier or come back and stay later. Work with your employees as closely as possible to ascertain they have time to tend to their personal matters.

Offer More Than a Salary

Happiness and health are more important than a salary. No job is worth feeling sick, miserable, stressed out, and run down on a regular basis. Work and wellness need to have some overlap. Larger companies create gyms and wellness centers on their campuses, allowing employees the opportunity to work out and get small checkups whenever they see the need. Even if your company doesn’t have the resources to provide comprehensive wellness solutions, smaller compromises can keep your employees feeling healthy, happy, and confident.

Take care of your best employees. Provide healthy snacks. Make a deal with a nearby gym and offer discounted memberships to your employees. See if local healthy eateries can arrange catering deals for employee lunches. Give you employees a room for relaxation and meditation. Take care of their human needs, and they won’t want to trade employers.

Talk a Lot

Strong relationships are built on communication. If you aren’t conversing with your employees enough, they may feel ignored or neglected. As with any relationship, the feeling of being overlooked may cause them to end their relationship with you and move elsewhere.

Talking to your employees is the most important thing you can do to inspire loyalty and assure their workplace happiness. Make sure you’re having enough meetings, and that even when you aren’t having meetings, an open avenue of communication is always easily accessible.

Meet the Needs of Ambitious Employees

Ambitious employees are the most likely to leave. People on a warpath to success will do whatever it takes to find career fulfillment. They’re willing to build relationships and work hard to get where they’re trying to go. If you aren’t allowing them a path to success, they’re going to go to someone who will. There’s not much you can do about that – you can’t expect these people to stick around and settle for less when they’ve proven they’re ready and capable of handling more. Be sure that every employee is aware of his or her trajectory within the company, and do what you can to help the capable ones raise in rank.

Some people are more easily poached than others. There’s nothing you can do, other than asking employees to sign a non-compete, that would guarantee their commitment and fidelity to you. However, if you simply go the extra mile to show your employees that staying is beneficial for them, chances are, those employees won’t be so quick to let a great thing go.

About the author:

Alana Downer is an experienced corporate and personal finance consultant, often writing about smart choices businesses should make to grow and develop. At the moment, Alana is providing editorial support to Learn to Trade, an educational resource for the money conscious. Feel free to reach out to Alana on her Twitter.