It’s important that you realize that even in today’s job market, your employees may not simply be thankful to have a job. People still want to be happy with what they do each day. Your top employees won’t just be in demand in your office, others will want them too. You must be the best at keeping your employees happy. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not suggesting that you give your employees whatever they want, let them come and go as they please and generally let them walk all over you. But I am suggesting that if you don’t think it’s necessary to provide an environment where your employees want to come to work, you won’t keep them for very long.
What does that mean? First, you have to give people an opportunity to win. People will want to come to work if they feel like their presence actually matters. Show me an unhappy employee and I’ll show you one that isn’t accomplishing much toward the overall goals of their company.
Next, you have to let people know they’re doing a good job. I once heard an employer say “continued employment is acknowledgement enough”. Last I heard that company was filing bankruptcy. In the modern world, people are largely used to being told when they’ve done something wrong. But how many feel they’re acknowledged when they do something right? A simple "atta boy" will go much further than you probably realize.
Last, you have to pay people fairly for the work that they do. This is not just the wage for the position. This would include the overall compensation package. Health Insurance, Vacation, etc. Is what you offer competitive with your competition in the area? You might not think it’s important, but I’ve seen highly qualified candidates choose one direction over another because of a slightly better health insurance package. Don’t expect that people will work for you out of some sense of duty, at least not initially. That sort of loyalty is something that is established over time, not given simply because you think you earn it.
Your employees are your single biggest asset. Treat them that way and they’ll go to war for you. Don’t and you’ll find yourself in battle alone.