Pay the best employees a bit higher than the market so that they stay motivated and never think of leaving the job. It is important to keep them on a pay scale that will make them look good compared to the employees at the same level. They are experienced and one of the best employees that you cannot afford to lose so you can go beyond the normal payout ratio and add some fringe benefits or perks to cover up for their loyalty.
One job every day becomes monotonous and employees are usually tired of doing the same job so you can always rotate the old employees for a short period of time to make them belief that they are a crude part of the organization. You have to depend and rely on them. Promote them to a spot that is critical to the organization. The strategic decision making should be the spot for the employees that are not to be lost in the foreseeable future.
Give them recognition in front of the crowd. A human being is an attention-seeking mammal. They need people to respect and care for them and it will make them feel good so you need to make them feel good by recognizing their efforts. Give them awards on particular events and keep them involved in the decision making process.
Sell the shares to the employees that you don’t want to lose. They will be the stakeholders and will strive hard to enforce a better payout. They will also be happy to be working for an organizing where they have staked some money.