Good employees can be hard to get and even harder to keep. Your investment in onboarding and training goes down the drain every time a competent employee leaves your company, but smart actions can help you identify, reward and retain your company’s best people so they don’t take their skills elsewhere.
Importance of Retention
Employee retention lowers human resources costs involved in finding, vetting and training new workers. In addition, employee retention can make your company more productive. Employees who are dedicated enough to stay with you are often the most engaged, the most likely to provide good service and the easiest for other employees and vendors to work with. While a long-term employee may eventually require a higher salary than a new one, there aren’t any other downsides to employee retention.
Once you identify workers with good productivity and attendance statistics as well as other qualities that fit your company’s culture, they’ll appreciate a bit of recognition. Even if you can’t offer a raise or bonus, you can recognize good employees by personally thanking them, pointing out their positive qualities in meeting or honoring them with titles or awards. Perhaps the most important recognition you can provide is your respect. Employees will usually feel greater dedication to your company if they’re shown respect so that they feel good about working for you.
Workers sometimes like it when you offer but don’t force additional responsibilities that show your trust in them. They won’t enjoy being overwhelmed or asked to do more work for the same money, but they might like to be cross-trained in other positions, for example. You’re also more likely to retain an employee if you prevent them from feeling stale or bored by offering continuing education opportunities and the chance for advancement.
In addition to recognition and respect, employees often like to be rewarded tangibly with gifts, parties and even handwritten notes of appreciation. A gift card can mean as much to an employee as a raise if it comes with the promise of similar future rewards. Plus, providing paid vacations and sufficient days off throughout the year helps employees feel rewarded for their efforts and loyalty. You can’t expect even the best employee to perform at full-throttle every day without some downtime.
Retaining employees often comes down to the simple things. Most employees like to feel noticed, respected and rewarded for their contributions. When you pay attention to workers and treat them as people whose needs and desires you can help fulfill, you have the best chance of retaining them and improving your company’s bottom line through lower costs and increased productivity.