As the economy continues to recover and the baby boomers begin to retire, it is going to become increasingly important for employers to focus on employee retention. Not only is employee turnover costly, but the loss of key employees results in other issues such as lost knowledge, mourning and feelings of uncertainty amongst employees and an increase in the remaining employee’s workloads – often affecting morale.
In the following article, Heather R. Huhman outlines 5 ways employers can avoid these issues by offering valuable options to keep their employees happy:
Offer professional development opportunities. Professional development doesn’t have to be time-consuming—or expensive. There are many inexpensive or free resources available today to continue the learning process for talented employees. Follow industry blogs, read magazines and whitepapers, and check out the latest books in the field for opportunities to share with your current employees. Be on the lookout for webinars, teleseminars, Twitter chats, and conferences that they may be interested in attending—and determine how your company can help make that happen.
Think about how you can provide a better work-life balance. Telecommuting, virtual meeting and flexible time off policies are all highly desired qualities in a workplace. Many top performers are constantly striving to maintain an ideal work-life balance because they are innately hard workers. Examine your internal policies to see if you can make this balancing act easier for your employees.
Provide a variety of projects to keep the work interesting and meaningful. No one wants to work at a job for the rest of their life where they do the same thing every day. Employees want to feel that their work is making a difference to the organization and its audiences. Talented employees crave challenging tasks that can add to their skills and growth as a professional. Cross-training and team projects are a great way to provide additional opportunities.
Look into tuition reimbursement initiatives. If an employee yearns to go back to school to complete another degree or certification, determine how the organization can help them make that happen by helping out with costs.
Provide quality feedback in a timely manner. Instead of waiting for an annual or semi-annual performance review, give your employees feedback about their tasks as soon as possible after completion. Feedback is an important piece of workplace satisfaction—even if it’s a simple “Great work!” e-mail or note.
Looking for more ways to retain top performing employees? Check out Susan M. Heathfield’s article on About.com which outlines the following top ten ways to retain great employees:
• Management thinkers agree that a satisfied employee knows clearly what is expected from him every day at work.
• The quality of the supervision an employee receives is critical to employee retention.
• The ability of the employee to speak his or her mind freely within the organization is another key factor in employee retention.
• Talent and skill utilization is another environmental factor your key employees seek in your workplace.
• The perception of fairness and equitable treatment is important in employee retention.
• The easiest to solve, and the ones most affecting employee retention, are tools, time and training.
• Your best employees, those employees you want to retain, seek frequent opportunities to learn and grow in their careers, knowledge and skill.
• A common place complaint or lament I hear during an exit interview is that the employee never felt senior managers knew he existed.
• No matter the circumstances, never, never, ever threaten an employee’s job or income.
• Your staff members must feel rewarded, recognized and appreciated.
By Heather R. Huhman, originally published in Talent Culture, on January 11, 2011.
Have any other success stories or ideas on how to retain employees? We would love to hear from you!