Turnover is much more expensive than keeping good employees and investing in them. It’s a well-known fact, yet companies still seem to struggle to keep the right people in the right positions.

While every situation is different, there are a few key principles you need to put into practice if you want to keep your best people doing their best for you.

First, you need to respect your people. Yes, you hired them to do a job, and, yes, they work for you. But that doesn’t mean you are better than them. They are people, talented and skilled people with good attitudes – either that, or you did a lousy job hiring them in the first place.

So, if you have great people, treat them as the great people they are. That doesn’t mean letting them take advantage of you. It just means not taking them for granted. Understand they want to contribute. They want to feel they matter, that they are offering a vital service, and that they are a key part of your overall success. Let them know they are appreciated on a regular basis.

Here’s another way to look at it: invest in the person, rather than the role. So many times a business will get so hung up on a particular skill that they miss the opportunity to hire a person who would be a good fit for them long-term. Understand, while you will need the Right Person for the Right Job, there will be times when that skill becomes obsolete, or you no longer need that job done. At that point, are you left getting rid of someone who’s done good work for you, or will you have a team member who can transition well into a more applicable role for your current situation? If you’ve hired properly and invested in the right people, that answer will be a resounding “yes”.

This dovetails nicely into another one of my Mandates For Leadership. You need to invest in your best people. While there will always be folks who come in, do a job and leave, you need to keep your best people on your radar. Look for those who display leadership and adaptability, then invest in those folks. Your return on that investment will pay you healthy dividends.

So, what about it? What successful methods have you employed to keep your best people happy and productive?