Effective managers understand the importance of minimizing employee turnover. After all, turnover is costly in a few different ways. First, the costs associated with recruiting, hiring, and training replacement employees are often significant. But monetary expenses aren’t the only drawback to employee turnover. Excessive turnover is also costly in terms of employee morale and productivity. To help ensure employee retention, consider the following tips:
Hire right in the first place. Before you can worry about retention, you have to ensure that you have the right employees on board in the first place. This requires a selective hiring process, during which all candidates are properly vetted. What should be included in the vetting process? In addition to thorough reference checking, you might consider conducting a background check, education verification, credit check, and drug screen. Finally, remember that an interview will tell you more about a candidate than a resume ever could. During the interview, ask yourself whether or not the candidate is a good match for your company’s culture. A candidate might have all the right skills and work experience, but if he is a poor cultural match, retention is unlikely.
Consider the working environment. What does your office environment say about your company’s culture? Is it a warm, friendly place that is likely to attract top talent? Or, is it an uncomfortable, sterile environment that discourages teamwork? When it comes to your employees’ working environment, it’s the smallest things that make the biggest difference in retention. For example, employees prefer working in areas that are well-lit with natural lighting. An office painted in warm and inviting colors is also desirable. Comfortable, ergonomically correct workspaces are an added bonus in companies with high retention rates.
Invest in training. Turnover is common when employees feel undervalued and stuck in a rut. Everyone wants to feel like they have potential to grow and learn new skills. Even if your company doesn’t have a lot of opportunity for promotions and pay raises, there are other ways you can invest in your employees. Consider offering training sessions by having an industry expert come to your office and discuss the latest industry trends and developments. Or, use a computer training program to teach employees new software. In short, regularly give your employees opportunities to add new skills and experiences to their resumes.
Offer some perks. It’s no secret that salary is a large factor in employee retention. Equally as important, however, are benefits. Offering a competitive benefits package with some extra perks– the ability to telecommute, for example– is a vital component of retaining top talent. If your benefits package isn’t up to par, consider offering perks in other ways. For example, you might allow employees to leave early one Friday each month. Or, you might implement a bi-monthly “bring your pet to work” program.
Ask for feedback. One of the most obvious– and most overlooked– ways to retain employees is through communication. Asking your employees for feedback– and really listening to their answers– goes a long way in reducing turnover. These conversations don’t have to occur during formal meetings. Instead, drop by a hard-working employee’s desk and ask her what she likes about working for the company. Then, ask her what she would change if she was in charge. Not every piece of feedback will be possible to implement, but you’re likely to get a few worthwhile ideas. More importantly, however, your employees will feel heard— and thus appreciated.