How to Keep Your Young and Talented Employee

Imagine draft night. Your favorite team has the first pick. They select the teenage hot shot tearing up the college ranks. The air suddenly fills with hope and anticipation.

Fast forward to three years later. Your budding superstar has turned around the team’s prospects. But it’s getting to the end of his rookie contract. Now, tension and doubt pervade every report. His every statement is scrutinized. Will he re-sign? Is he moving to greener pastures?

When these kinds of stories happen in the sports world, they drive endless conversations and garner top-ranked positions on news sites. But a smaller version of this tale happens everyday in the business world. Young, talented employees come into a firm, inject it with enthusiasm and revitalize the office with energy and fresh ideas. But, eventually, worries start to surface that they will look elsewhere for opportunities.

How can you avoid the situation? How can you increase the chance that your young workers will stay happy and productive, and continue to represent the future of your firm.

Well, money helps. Frequent raises and other compensation go a long way in securing employees for the long haul. But money isn’t everything. And good thing too, because you don’t always have money to spare.

There are other ways to build a long-term relationship with young employees. Here are five ways (other than cash) to secure your young and talented employees for the long haul:

Encouragement and Understanding

Young employees are going to screw up. That’s part of the cost of having them. It’s the central trade-off for younger staffers. They are eager, but inexperienced. You can often get away with paying them less, but they usually need more oversight.

Try not to let this get you frustrated. Realize that it’s par for the course and that you’ll get more in the long term by constructively correcting mistakes and building up their confidence and competency than you will by getting angry.

Opportunities to Learn

There’s a temptation to relegate young workers to lower level assignments (sometimes nearly intern-level work), under the assumption that they should pay their dues before getting more opportunities. Long term, though, this might foster resentment and an early departure.

Let young workers participate in interesting projects. That doesn’t mean you need to give them full responsibility of running your most profitable account. But allowing them to dip into higher-level work makes them feel a bigger part of the company.

Ways to Advance

When young people leave, it’s usually because they are chasing better opportunities. If they feel stuck, they’ll start looking at other companies for a way to advance their careers.

Make sure they don’t have to start looking around. You want to channel their ambition into your organization. Promote from within and make the path to the next level clear from the start.


Here’s some common advice for keeping young workers: make the job fun. There are two problems with that advice. One, you’re not a babysitter. And two, jobs can’t always be fun.

But while you can’t turn your office into a Fortnite lair, you can make the work environment as pleasant as possible. Moreover, you can create a situation where the work becomes engaging and meaningful.

Encouraging a strong corporate culture accomplishes these goals and makes younger employees feel like they’ve found a long-term home.


Youth is a time of optimism and idealism. The world seems new and full of promise. Sure, by middle age, most of your young employees will have turned jaded and cynical. But for the time being, they have the shine of a new life spread before them.

Encourage this. Don’t just make the job about money. What is your company’s goal? How do you and your employees make the world better? Answering these questions will keep workers engaged.

Find Your Next Career

Building a meaningful relationship with your employees is easier when you have top-notch employees to start with. By teaming with a strong recruiting partner, you can staff your company with upbeat and enthusiastic workers. Contact LaborMax to learn more about what they can do for you.