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5 Steps for Retaining Valuable Employees

5 Steps to Retain Valuable EmployeesYou go through a considerably long process to hire and train great hardworking employees for your business. Retaining quality employees is so important because a high turnover rate can lower the knowledge base in your business, negatively affect the customer experience, and lead to a decrease in performance and motivation. High turnover rates also have financial complications, as there are significant costs associated with the replacement and training of employees. In fact, replacement costs can be as high as 50%-60% of an employee’s annual salary with total costs associated with turnover as high as 150%–200% of an employee’s annual salary (source). For these reasons, retaining valuable employees is vital for productivity and growth.  

 

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Maintain clear and constant communication.

Communication is key for a number of situations and the workforce is no exception. Without communicating with your employees, you may not be aware of workplace morale. For example, you notice productivity has significantly decreased. When you finally decide to assess the issue, you learn that several of your employees are feeling upset or neglected, which has affected their overall work ethic. Constant communication should be established at the leadership level as well as encouraged at the non-supervisory level. 

Do you feel your business has a strong communication process? The following are communication tools that your business should be using to enhance employee retention:

  • Communicate on a frequent basis with your employees.
  • Conduct regular meetings to discuss business goals, expectations and allow employees to express their thoughts. 
  • Offer two-way communication in a safe and private environment, when needed.
  • Conduct regular employee engagement and satisfaction surveys to gather valuable information.
  • Require listening and problem solving from leadership.
  • Assess and improve employee morale.

 

Set detailed and manageable guidelines.

A common issue that threatens employee retention is a lack of guidelines and expectations. A structured process is needed to ensure that all employees are on track with daily tasks. Operating without this simple mechanism can lead to a lack of employee engagement, which means that employees might not be working to their fullest potential. Inconsistent expectations can lead to mistrust, lower productivity and an overall lack of respect for the job.

 

Offer a competitive advantage. 

Businesses want to hire the best employees and people want to work with the best employers. To set your business above the rest and attract top performers, offer appealing benefits that other business do not. Talk with your employees and ask them what attracted them to your business. According to Entrepreneur, here are some questions to consider for improving your competitive advantage:

  1. What sets your company apart from your competition?
  2. How are you--and as a result, your employees--making a difference in your industry, in your community,   and for your customers?
  3. Have you taken the time to identify and inform your customers and your employees about your unique competitive advantage?
  4. If your product is similar to others in the marketplace, is your service what distinguishes you? 

Before achieving a competitive edge, be sure you're already offering a benefits package, decent pay, and an opportunity for growth, along with the other essentials employees seek. 

 

Conduct regular performance evaluations.

A beneficial strategy to assess how your employees are doing and feeling is to conduct a performance evaluation.  Conducting regular review sessions with individual employees, to talk about what they like and dislike about their job, is a great way to show employees that they are valued and acknowledged. Additionally, these review sessions can also give you great ideas to improve your business and enhance retention. 

These evaluations should be an opportunity for communication and for employees to feel comfortable discussing the likes and dislikes about company culture. Avoid using evaluations as a way to apprehend or negatively critique your employees' work. Let the critique, if needed, be constructive as well as a two-way street. Open communication, performance review and discussed achievable goals, will let your employees know you care about their thoughts and well-being. 

 

Create growth opportunities.

Simply put, more employees will stay with a business that provides opportunities for growth. An employee works hard knowing that their dedication pays off. Employees will be more inclined to put their best foot forward when it's met with gradually increasing job titles along with higher pay. Additionally, an employee that has advanced from entry level to a management position is more likely to continue working hard; rather than someone who's been doing the same job for years, despite their dedicated work ethic. 

Employees can quickly become upset, however, if advancement is offered with no intent to enforce. For this reason, ensure that employees understand how they can advance in your business. Constantly communicate with employees who are interested in advancement, so they know what needs to be done while also reassuring them that their work is not going unnoticed. 

 

Collect your employee feedback.

When a company asks its employees for their opinions, engagement at that organization tends to increase by 5%. Just asking your employees for feedback moves the needle! It’s important, however, to be choosy about what kind of feedback you collect. Because employees want their employers to take action on their feedback, it’s essential to conduct an employee survey only if the results are valid and actionable. Unfortunately, businesses sometimes make the mistake of using employee surveys to collect data that is irrelevant or impossible to act on. To ensure that your employee feedback data is actionable, ask your survey provider how customers use reports to affect change.

Do you think your team might be ready for an employee survey? Find out when you download this FREE checklist. Our Survey Readiness Checklist helps you to review criteria for survey administration and reporting, communicate clearly with your team about what there is to be gained from a survey project, and
determine organizational readiness for an employee survey.

 

Download Survey Readiness Checklist

Tags: Employee Retention, Employee Engagement, Employee Trust, Employee Engagement Ideas

Leila Zayed
As VP of Best Companies Group, Leila has established Best Places to Work programs, given talks on employee engagement topics all over the U.S., and launched our employee survey brand Best Employee Surveys. Before joining Best Companies Group, Leila had been a publisher at Mainebiz, a research analyst at several great firms, and an avid gardener. (She can still be found digging in the dirt most mornings before the office opens.) She received her training in social research from the University of Vermont. Leila resides in Portland, Maine with her son, Henry, their cat, Phoenix, and their flock of six pampered suburban chickens.
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