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4 Ways to Improve Employee Retention

01.22.15

4 Ways to Improve Employee Retention

01.22.15

While you might think that there’s a vast pool of qualified candidates for your company, the price of replacing employees can be immense. Aside from the easily calculable price of paying your employees’ salaries, there are a number of “soft” expenses that contribute to the mounting price of replacing good talent. A large chunk of the issue with an employee leaving is actually with the employees who remain.

When a team member leaves, it can be a major blow to the morale of the rest of the team. While the departure tends to lead other team members to reconsider their own position in the company, the real issue is the shift of tasks from the person who left to be distributed among the employees who remain. When everyone begins to feel overwhelmed by an unsustainable increase in their workload, it can take months to recover from the damage to their morale, and in some cases, can actually trigger more employees to make the decision to leave.

On the productivity side, losing a good employee means losing not only their technical knowledge, but their contextual familiarity with the position as well. INC. writer Suzanne Lucas explains the difficulty replacing a knowledgeable employee, “It’s about knowing the people, the traditions, the location of relevant information, what the boss likes and a million other things that come from working for a company for a long period of time. All that goes away when someone quits. And sometimes it’s more than just general company knowledge. How many of your employees have their jobs documented well enough that someone could figure it out with their documentation?”

While you can eventually find someone to fill the empty position, doing so effectively and with the right candidate requires a time and resource intensive interview, hiring, and training process. Ultimately, employers should aim to hold on to the talent they have, and prioritize employee retention. Thankfully, there is a lot you can do to keep your employees happy, and it doesn’t necessarily need to be very expensive. Check out these four easy ways to improve employee retention below.

Offer Scaled Incentives

Leading your office with a Machiavellian structure isn’t going to get you anywhere, and it certainly isn’t going to help your employee retention. Rather than waiting for people to screw up in their responsibilities, proactively offering incentives for strong performance is a great way to ensure people are performing at the peak of their ability and feel pleasantly challenged, engaged, and rewarded.

Offering scaled incentives based on performance reviews and goals that have been met allows you to reward employees in accordance with their performance. The easiest way to do this is with a percentage based on sales, but every business is structured differently, and employers may need to improvise an incentive scale that makes sense in their particular case.

Improve the Office Environment

Creating a positive, comfortable, and pleasant working environment is one of the easiest ways to improve employee morale and retention. If you’re looking to do things inexpensively, use online discount tools like Office Depot coupons on sites like Ebates. You can acquire some new office furniture at a discounted price point, and stock up on some decorative accents to make the office a more visually pleasant place to spend the day. If people enjoy spending time in the office, they’re not going to take every chance they get to run out, improving productivity, performance, and satisfaction.

Plan Periodic Team Outings

People want to stay in a company where they like their coworkers. If you take some time to help foster friendships among employees, it can do wonders for retention. Planning periodic team outings for a local happy hour once a month, a round of golf every once in a while, or a few office parties for holidays should help to create a stronger team that works well together. The result is a cohesive company that operates as a unit, rather than a disconnected assemblage of individuals.

Collect Feedback Regularly

Requiring zero capital, collecting regular feedback should be a no-brainer for managers. If you want to know what would help keep your employees happy, the easiest way to do that is to simply ask them. Make a point to schedule a quarterly, or at least yearly feedback process that lets employees air any grievances they may have, gives them a platform to make any suggestions for improved processes, and not unimportantly, lets them know that they have a voice within the company and that their opinions are valued. It’s a simple measure and it works wonders for a business.

Putting in some time, effort, and resources to improve employee retention and satisfaction is going to repay you in spades because the people really do make the company. Your talent is the backbone of your company, and keeping that strong is the best way to build a bright future for the business.