Q:  What are some best practices to minimize employee turnover?

A few thoughts:

  • Hire great VPs that folks love to work for. This is how you scale. Hire VPs whose team just loves them. They’ll hire the next 2, 20, 200 in their department, with low turnover.
  • Promote your stars. Or at least, offer to. The best join startups to grow more quickly. One way, for some, is to get promoted. If they are great, it’s OK to promote them a little early. If they are great, you may have to find a way to promote them — even if there’s no room.
  • Pay extremely fairly. Assume everyone knows what everyone else makes. Few things fester more than when someone feels underpaid.
  • Pay market, once you can. Don’t ask folks to take a salary cut to join your startup once you can afford to pay them market. You’re making a promise to them when you do that you probably can’t meet.
  • Celebrate the victories and the wins. The sales rep that closed the big deal. The record month for leads. The incredible release. Make your heroes feel like heroes.
  • Don’t hire the mediocre. And if you do — move them out quickly. This is subtle but important. As soon as the mediocre get into your org, and as soon as it is OK to be mediocre — everyone’s standards fall. Why kill yourself to something amazing … when the other manager just phones it in?
  • Don’t allow your company to become heterogeneous. You can’t scale without a diversity of backgrounds, ages, experiences, and more.
  • Be grateful. Most really aren’t. At least, not enough. And it’s free.

A related post here:

Don’t Let Them (Your Best Employees) Go

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