Employee retention strategies that work again and again…

Last week, we talked about why employees quit. Today, we’re going to dig into employee retention strategies. After all, once you have that awesome employee, you’re going to want to keep them.

Fairly compensate employees

Receiving Dollars For A Sale Or Wages - employee retention strategies

Man Receiving Dollars From Another Man As Payment For A Sale

We’re going to start here. Let’s face it, most people go to work (day in and day out, even when they don’t want to) in order to provide for basic needs or a lifestyle. That’s not to say employees can’t or don’t enjoy the work they do. Look at it more like this… If you tell your employees you’re no longer paying them for their work and you’ll be donating all profits to charity, how long do you think your employees will stick around? Volunteerism is one thing, but your employees took the job to get paid.

I’ve come across some individuals with the mentality that employees should be happy they even have jobs or get paid anything for the work they do, particularly in a downturned economy. Trust me. Banking on your employees’ commitment to supporting their basic needs is not one of the winning employee retention strategies. An employer which has a low value for employees can pretty much guarantee a lack of loyalty from workers. Though I think that attitude is an extreme case, fair compensation is a way to show your appreciate and value for the work your employees do. So, show employees some respect and pay them fairly. And don’t forget other ways to compensate employees, which I’ll talk about in the next post.

Offer professional growth opportunities

Professional Growth - employee retention strategiesI feel as if I’m beating a dead horse when I talk about dead-end jobs, but eliminating dead-end jobs from your company is one way to keep your employees in the game. Offering personal growth opportunities is one strategy. Paid training and/or paid time off to receive training can be a two-fold strategy. On the employee side, many relish the idea of developing new skills. Though the idea is to retain employees, a good set of skills can make an employee more marketable. Those skills may even warrant a pay raise within the company in the future. For the employer, well-trained employees help keep the company on the cutting edge and make more efficient employees. Creating opportunities for your workers to move up in the company is one of the best employee retention strategies you could implement.

Keep communication channels open

Communicate Sign Showing Speaker Or Discussion - employee retention strategiesPeople tend to be more vested when they know and understand what’s the situation. The same can be said for your company. Employees should have a clear understanding of the company’s mission, advancement plans, and opportunities to progress, not just because employees should know, but rather because you’ve communicated details about the company to them.

Clear communication on regular basis is also likely to benefit both the organization and employees, as informed employees are more able to take initiatives or offer ideas. One word of caution. Though keeping the channels of communication open are important, be care not to over-communicate. Take your cues from your employees, as sharing too much too often can cause some employees unneeded stress.

Keep in mind that communication is a two-way street. Employees may also have valuable feedback. Creating a receptive environment will help ensure employees feel their voices are heard and their thoughts respected. Again, having a say will help employees feel more vested in the company. As an added bonus your openness to accept feedback may eventually result in a generation of better ideas.

Final Thoughts

Employee turnover can be costly. According to ERM Media, the cost to replace an entry level employee is 30-50% of their annual salary, a mid-level employee is 150%, and a high-level or specialized employee 400% of their annual salary. When you’re looking at those kinds of numbers, doesn’t make sense to hire the right employees for the right jobs and work at retaining them?

Stay tuned for the next post, where we talk about other ways to compensate employees besides salary and wages.