How to Hire, Inspire and Retain your Employees

There is a credible threat to your organization today and it’s not what you think. Or is it?

It’s costing companies more than $11 billion in losses annually on average and it’s getting worse. This threat is the battle to hire, inspire, engage and ultimately retain your top talent.

According to Gallup, 51% of employees stated that they are looking to leave their current jobs and an equal percentage of the U.S. workforce is not engaged when they are on the job. This lack of employee engagement costs organizations $450 to $550 billion every single year.

If you’re reading this at the office, look around. More than half of the people walking the halls, sitting across from you at the conference table and collaborating at workstations are open to new opportunities. And yes, those of you with standup desks, ping-pong tables, company-sponsored lunches and all the other creature comforts of the modern workspace, I’m talking to you, too! These things help for sure, however, they are not enough in today’s competitive market to retain and engage top talent.

Another report stated ONLY 13% of people like their jobs. What?! That means a staggering 87% of people aren’t happy with the way they spend the bulk of their waking hours.

That $11 BILLION figure above? That’s the estimated costs due to employee turnover.


  • Millennial turnover costs the U.S. economy $30.5 billion annually
  • The cost of replacing:
    • An entry-level employee is 30-50% of their annual salary
    • A mid-level employee is 150% of their annual salary
    • A high-level or highly specialized employee is 400% of their annual salary

It’s clear that reigniting the existing talent you have is much better than trying to replace them.

So, what’s the secret to employee satisfaction, engagement and retention? Contrary to popular belief, the size of the salary isn’t the primary driver of happiness.

It’s your culture.

Here are my five suggestions to create a culture where you will hire, inspire, engage and retain top talent in your industry:

  1. Hire the best and make it safe to take risks
    I always challenge people to take one risk a day. If you’re not taking risks inside the organization or as an individual, then you’re not growing or learning. When employees don’t feel safe to make mistakes and fail, it’s not good for them and it’s not good for your collective success. Cultures that empower their employees and make it safe to take risks are cultures that lead to high performance. Market disruption is key and if you are not giving your employees room to take risks you will eventually lose.
  2. Understand your people
    Simon Sinek said, “If you don’t understand people, you don’t understand business.” I couldn’t agree more. If you hope to hire, inspire and retain your employees you must understand what makes them tick, what motivates them and what their passions are both personally and professionally. Companies and people move way too fast. Slow down and pay attention to how the members of your team are feeling. Learn what they are thinking. Spend time with them and listen.
  3. Hold your people accountable
    Accountability must be built in. Make a commitment to your people that you will hold them accountable, challenge them and be aware and grateful for their contributions. Set them up for success by ensuring they understand the objectives and your expectations, but then step aside and create space for your employees to figure out how to get there. Explain to them that you are there for guidance, advice and to break the barriers down that might get in their way, but ultimately you trust they will do what it takes to to achieve  success.This, afterall, is why you hired them.
  4. Create value
    It’s true that if you don’t offer competitive salaries you won’t attract or keep the best talent, but that doesn’t mean you must offer the highest salaries to compete. Employees measure value in many ways not just by what’s hitting their bank account. What are you doing to help your people become the best versions of themselves? Do you regularly show up for your employees with the best version of yourself? Are you helping them grow and building trust along the way? If the team is not where you want them to be, it might be because you led them there.
  5. Celebrate wins—even the small ones
    People want to be a part of something special. When you nurture a culture that celebrates the wins, your team gets fueled by their success. Motivation spikes. Morale skyrockets. The reward system in our brains get activated by ANY accomplishment, no matter how small and small amounts of progress over time help us achieve our personal and professional goals. That’s one of the reasons that writing down my accomplishments at the end of each day is part of my practice to stay focused on the positive.

Look, life is short. Work hard, play hard and continuously improve but don’t forget to celebrate along the way.

With more than half of your workforce open to new opportunities, there’s no time to waste in the mission to reignite your workforce. Take action today to create a culture that will attract, inspire and retain your employees.


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Lonnie Mayne

Lonnie is the founder of Red Shoes Living, a philosophy and framework that is positively disruptive for corporate cultures by helping them to stand out in everything they do. Red Shoes Living is straightforward and incredibly powerful because it creates an inspired cultural movement both inside and outside of your company. Whether it's business or personal, we believe that Red Shoes Living is a way of life. Come join him and his team in the mountains of Park City, Utah. Find out more by email or call us directly at +1 801-783-7373.

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