Career Advice - A Community Blog

Erik Larson writes about the job market, resume improvement, and career advice

Ways to Retain your Employees

Written by Erik Larson, Community Blogger | Jul 24, 2017 2:26 AM

Good, reliable employees can be hard to find -- and even harder to keep. Cost of turnover can be hefty -- starting at $3,500 per employee -- so it pays to retain good employees once you've found them. To help you keep the good ones clocking in, here is a list of five ways to retain good employees. 

1. Recognize accomplishments. One of the biggest gripes -- even more than salary -- for employees is feeling unappreciated by superiors and peers. An easy remedy is to regularly recognize employees for a job well done. Ensure leadership is making it a main goal to recognize employees hard work. This can be done with daily reassurance, as well as with scheduled regular awards or other recognition. Be certain praise is warranted and sincere -- or it could come off as patronizing. Good employees will know the difference, but if they are good employees they should have plenty of work to praise. 

2. Give them freedom to create a job they love. It's easy to point out things for employee retention like raises, promotions, and commission incentives. Sometimes -- especially when times are hard -- you can't offer these incentives to even to your best employees. What you can do is allow them more freedom and autonomy to morph their existing position into one that they love. Have the employee create a work wish list and see what you can do as the employer to make their job more enjoyable. The more ownership the employee feels for their work and their position -- the more invested they will feel in the organization. Encourage open communication to keep the position evolving in a way that makes sense for the company as a whole. 

3. Conduct "stay" interviews. All employees go through an interview process to get hired and many companies perform exit interviews. A way to set yourself apart -- and retain more employees -- is to conduct "stay" interviews with your longer-term team members. Set up a recurring stay interview to find out what is keeping an employee with your organization. Ask them what would encourage them to leave, what would make their work experience better, and anything else you can think of. Understanding why people stay is important to keeping them in your organization. 

4. Make the workplace more comfortable with quality air conditioning. Employees spend the majority of their week at work, making it pleasurable to be there will help retain quality employees in the long term. A hot, stuffy building is not a place you want to spend 40 plus hours of your week. Make sure your office or building is at a comfortable, consistent temperature. Adding other items of comfort won't hurt either -- like ergonomic chairs, adjustable desks, a pleasant window view, and clean bathrooms. 

5. Give small, but fun perks. Offering little perks is a low-cost way to improve workplace morale. Free lunch on Fridays, in-office massages once a week, discount partnerships with other local businesses, dry cleaning pick-up/delivery, etc are little ways to make an organization more pleasant.

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