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Best Practices: Employee Retention

August 14th, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

A Changing Work Force and Workplace

Fundamental changes are taking place in the work force and the workplace that promise to radically alter the way companies relate to their employees. Hiring and retaining good employees have become the chief concerns of nearly every company in every industry. Companies that understand what their employees want and need in the workplace and make a strategic decision to proactively fulfill those needs will become the dominant players in their respective markets.

The fierce competition for qualified workers results from a number of workplace trends, including:

  • A robust economy
  • Shift in how people view their careers
  • Changes in the unspoken “contract” between employer and employee
  • Corporate cocooning
  • A new generation of workers
  • Baby boomers striking out on their own after hitting corporate ceilings
  • Changes in social mores
  • Life balance

Concurrent with these trends, the emerging work force is developing very different attitudes about their role the workplace. Today’s employees place a high priority on the following:

  • Family orientation
  • Sense of community
  • Quality of life issues
  • Volunteerism
  • Autonomy
  • Flexibility and nonconformity

To hold onto your people, you have to work counter to prevailing trends causing the job churning. Smart employers make it a strategic initiative to understand what their people want and need — then give it to them.

Five Strategies for Retaining Employees

Retaining employees and developing a stable work force involves a two-step process — understanding why employees leave in the first place, and developing and implementing strategies to get them to stay.

Employees leave jobs for five main reasons:

  1. Poor working conditions
  2. Lack of appreciation
  3. Lack of support
  4. Lack of opportunity for advancement
  5. Inadequate compensation

Overcoming these reasons requires the implementation of five distinct categories of retention strategies:

  1. Environmental strategies create and maintain a workplace that attracts, retains and nourishes good people.
  2. Relationship strategies focus on how you treat your people and how they treat each other.
  3. Support strategies involve giving people the tools, equipment and information to get the job done.
  4. Growth strategies deal with personal and professional growth.
  5. Compensation strategies cover the broad spectrum of total compensation, not just base pay and salary.

Top Tips for Retaining Employees

To retain their employees, companies should implement the following best practices:

  • Hire right to begin with.
  • Engage in longer orientations with new employees.
  • Live the values.
  • Use creative rewards and recognition.
  • Create annual personal growth plans for each employee.
  • Consider non-compete agreements.
  • Recruiter-proof your company.
  • Make it easy for people to get their jobs done.
  • Do corporate succession planning.
  • Conduct exit interviews with employees who resign.

Retaining Key Employees

By focusing on key players who truly make or break your business, you can get the most leverage from your employee retention efforts. Retaining key employees requires a five-step process:

  1. Identify key employees and positions.
  2. Know what motivates your key employees on an individual level.
  3. Provide a deferred compensation plan.
  4. Monitor and manage key employee performance.
  5. Review key employees annually.

Using Benefits as an Employee Retention Tool

Employee benefits provide a powerful tool for attracting and retaining top-notch employees. To design a retention-oriented benefits program, use the following steps:

  1. Create a benefits mission statement.
  2. Identify your audience and their specific benefits wants and needs.
  3. Define a benefits budget that fits within the financial constraints of the company.
  4. Give employees as much control as possible over their benefits.
  5. Communicate the plan.

Creative Rewards and Recognition

  • Reward people for specific behaviors/results.
  • Make your rewards program simple and easy to understand.
  • Get employees involved in designing and running the program.
  • Make it fun!.
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