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Employee Retention: Strategies for Today’s Employer

Employee turnover can be costly, inefficient and damaging for any company. It is every organization’s goal to hold on to its most productive workers. As our economy continues to improve and grow, new and exciting opportunities may be out there enticing your best employees. As the baby-boomer generation moves towards retirement (and many are already retiring,) it is important to understand that the workforce in coming years will not be as bountiful as it has been, which means even less quality talent. Here are some universal strategies for retaining your top talent and preventing the unnecessary damages of losing your best workers:

#1 – Proper Utilization of Employees: In my experiences of interviewing numerous applicants of every kind on a daily basis, I’ve determined that the most important thing an employer can do to retain a good employee is keep them challenged! I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard that people were willing to jump jobs, because they felt that their current employer did not challenge them enough or properly utilize their skills & talents. If you don’t have someone doing a job that best utilizes their skills, how do you expect them to be happy in that job? Most people know what they’re good at, and they want to work for a company that also knows what they’re good at and facilitates their skills.

# 2 – Offer Competitive Benefits and Work/Life Balance: Health insurance, vacation & holiday pay, and retirement savings options are vital to employee retention. As our society transitions into more health consciousness and the definition of the “traditional family” continues to change & evolve, a work-life balance is also becoming an important benefit that employees are coming to expect of their employers. Examples of Work/Life Balance Benefits include: company health perks such as a gym membership, flextime, telecommuting options, preferred parking, dry-cleaning pick up, and on-site daycare.

#3 – Management: As I’ve discussed in prior Blogs, proper management is vital to employee success and satisfaction. People will inevitably be unhappy working under those who are less knowledgeable than they are, who provide little direction, who micro-manage, who don’t provide feedback, or who expect more out of employees than is possible for them to achieve. These are just a few of the problems you may run into with your managers. Everything starts at the top …  Be sure your managers know what is expected of them and know how to communicate effectively with their employees.

#4 – Partnership/Open Communication: Employees want to feel as though there is an open line of communication within the organization. No one wants to feel alienated but rather that they can talk to their superiors and co-workers at any time. Make sure your company’s mission is clearly communicated to all employees, there is an open line of correspondence throughout the company, employees know exactly what is expected of them, regular meetings are held, and all employees feel like a valuable part of your organization.

# 5 –  Facilitate Employee Growth & Promote From Within: The most successful organizations are “Learning Organizations” that promote company growth through employees’ continued education, training, and skill development. Provide your employees with tuition reimbursement; offer internal training; encourage your employees to continue their education. Not only will these keep your best employees happy, but by gauging who utilizes these perks, it will help you identify your best employees. Also, promote employees from within, giving employees a clear path of advancement. This will not only give them a good reason to stick around but also motivate them to do their best & advance. If you follow these guidelines and make a genuine effort to keep employees happy by encouraging continued growth, education, and advancement, it will only benefit your company on the long run.

Remember: Not all retention is good, and not all turnover is negative. We encourage employers to seek “positive turnover,” where about the best employees are retained and the low-performers are weeded out. Achieving positive turnover starts with identifying your top performers and using the above strategies to ensure their retention. I could write for days about the different ways to ensure employee satisfaction and retention, but the above strategies are some of the main factors to consider. Be creative and involve your employees (They know what they want & need better than anyone else!) Offer a dynamic workplace for your employees, and most importantly, utilize your HR department!! For more employee retention strategies and a true HR partnership, call Ad-VANCE today!

***Ad-VANCE Author: Erin Lee, PHR