How to Avoid Being a Stepping Stone Employer

What is a stepping stone employer? A decent company to work for, but one that doesn’t keep its employees. People will work there for a while, either for the paycheck, the benefits or the atmosphere, but they’ll move on as soon as they find a better position. This leaves you, the employer, in the lurch over and over again. How can you keep from getting stepped on and bypassed?

1. Make sure you have well-defined career development plans for your employees and communicate them. Employees need to know that there is room for professional growth and a chance for promotions and salary raises. Most people don’t want a dead-end job where they learn nothing and go nowhere.

2. Make sure you have competitive salary and benefits packages. No, money isn’t everything, but that can be hard for employees to remember when their colleagues at your competitors are making higher wages and enjoying a better standard of living.

3. Make sure management has a clue. Many surveys show that the number one reason people leave a job is because they don’t like their bosses. On, a site that publishes anonymous company reviews from current and former employees, you’ll often see complaints like “Upper management is completely out of touch with the work force of the company” and “No communication between sales and the rest of the company, so when they sell something that we can’t produce it falls upon the engineers/developers to work overtime to make it happen.”

4. Make sure you show your employees that they are appreciated. Employee Retention 101: Publicly thank and praise employees who have successfully completed a project or gone above and beyond the call of duty. Acknowledge special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries within the company. Set up incentive plans where appropriate or give awards for outstanding performance.

In other words, make sure your company is somewhere the most talented, dedicated and ambitious employees will want to work.

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