Ryan Harwood, CEO of PureWow

And it won't cost you a thing.

By Ryan Harwood
May 28, 2015

The Leadership Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question “How do you keep your best employees?” is by Ryan Harwood, CEO of PureWow.

Employee retention is vital to the success of any company—big or small. Losing key employees to the business is draining, both mentally and physically. Recruiting the right replacement can take a great deal of time, in addition to causing a huge disruption in your workflow. While there is no magic formula for keeping your best employees, you can certainly instill behaviors to increase your odds of retaining your best talent:

Be transparent
First and foremost, always be honest with yourself and your employees. If you’re making a decision or implementing a new policy, make sure you explain the rationale behind it. Not everyone will always agree with you, but they’re much more likely to respect the decision if they understand the thought process behind it. As long as your intentions are in the right place, you should always be confident in your decisions as a leader, regardless of the outcome. Showing integrity can play a large role in keeping your employees invested and loyal. Basically it comes down to being yourself. Don’t try to be someone or something you’re not.

When I first started PureWow, I used to think I was a transparent leader, but when I look back now I realize I wasn’t as transparent as I should have been. Transparency doesn’t mean you need to share every little detail of the company with every employee. It means you need to be honest with employees when a decision directly affects them. Doing so helps them develop a stronger connection to the company and deeper purpose in their role.

Show appreciation
We have a poster in our PureWow office that reads “Work hard and be nice to people.” My employees and I live by this mantra. We believe in a strong work ethic at PureWow. Everyone is ambitious and motivated to succeed, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We laugh at each other and ourselves. We enjoy going through the trials and tribulations of building a company together. And most importantly, we celebrate milestones, both small and big. At the end of the day, being happy far outweighs any perk I could provide.

Read all answers to the Leadership Insider question: How do you keep your best employees?

The secret to holding on to your best employees by Amit Srivastav, president of Infinite.

3 ways to prevent your employees from quitting by Niraj Shah, CEO of Wayfair.

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