It's an incredibly common scenario, you have some great people that work for you, they provide the best service, and they have the trust of your business, your employees, and your customers, then all of a sudden they are out the door.
Resignations can be hard to swallow sometimes, having one of your best employees leave after you've invested time and money training and supporting them, the prospect of losing all your talented techs to have them become your competition is pretty rough. The key to keeping great employees around is to reward them for staying. You do this by having opportunities to learn more and become more skilled, having a clear path for career growth, and by increasing their compensation or benefits.
Provide Opportunities for Continued Learning and Skill Development
When people think their skills are growing stagnant, out of date, or they aren't learning anything new, they become flight risks. Offer your techs more opportunities to acquire new skills and get better at what they do - allow them to attend a conference or a training class. Reimburse them or provide them industry publications for continuing education.
Not only will this help keep your employees happy and feeling like they are still improving their skills but these kinds of classes offer a lot of takeaways for participants to take back to their business. Now you have a happier employee who will also be able to apply what they have learned to improve your company's processes.
Create a clear plan for growth
One of this biggest reasons people leave their employers is because they have hit a brick wall, there seems to be nowhere else to go, and their current position is as good it is going to get. When you have talented employees, you have to offer them a path for growth within the organization if you expect them to stick around.
Create a formal plan for growth and present it to your technician - the plan should show the potential positions into which they could grow and detail the kinds of steps they would need to take, skills to acquire, and accomplishments they would need to make to get there. That sort of plan shows your employee you are invested in their future, there is a path for growth, and they'll know exactly what it'll take to get there.
Acknowledge the Risk of them Leaving and Compensate Accordingly
A lot of time things are just going to come down to money. A great tech may feel very strongly that they are leaving money on the table by not going into business for themselves. You won't' be able to counteract this solely by throwing however much money at them that they think they are losing. You don't want to be held hostage, even by your best employees. Instead, look to approach a middle ground with pay and benefit increases for this person.
Both you and your tech know it's a risk to let them leave and become a competitor. But you both also know that there is a huge risk for that tech to start and run their own business. They stand to lose quite a bit if it doesn't work out.
How much is keeping a great tech and preventing them from becoming a competitor worth to your shop? How much is job security and not having to bear all the risks of owning a business worth to your tech? Use these questions as your starting point for salary and benefits negotiations to find a compensation amount package that will keep both your business and your tech happy.
Don't Fret Over who Leaves, Reward who Stays
Let's face it, not all of your best talent is going to stay at your shop forever. Try not to stress too much over someone who's left, instead have a plan for how to hire their perfect replacement. But if you don't want to lose all your A+ players, start to build a rewarding environment for your best employees. One that fosters growth through continued education and offers a plan for growth within the business. Finally, don't be afraid to pay a great tech a little more, it's worth it to keep them happy at your shop and not starting a competing business.