Every human resources manager
realizes the expense of turnover, in particular in today’s
economy. Every time an employee quits, the employer incurs
another cost of recruiting in advertising, interviewing,
selection, and training of a replacement. Offering a good
compensation plan to ensure reduced employee turnover is the
most logical option, but less affordable and practical in
Salary is still a prime
motivator for most employees, practically speaking. But it
is not the only motivator. However, offering the highest
possible compensation package, including benefits, may help
retain people and circumvent turnover issues and losing good
employees to the competitor.
Offering flexible benefits,
flexible spending, medical insurance options (such as
reduced premium plans for higher deductibles), or an
incentive for opting out of a health plan can help your
company stand out.
Be sure the company
orientation session(s) is customized to suit the company’s
needs and is complete and up to date. Regularly evaluate the
orientation system. Up-front new hire orientation is
essential, but so is continuous on-the-job training offered
on site or in the form of seminars, workshops or college
courses. Continuous training helps refresh employees and
re-motivate them. Training allows people to learn new
things, recall what is forgotten, and allows employees to
feel valued. The cost should not be an object, as the
results typically outweigh any reasonable training cost.
Many companies have an in-house training department or
trainer to assist with offering many ongoing training
sessions and required training classes for employees, such
as safety training in manufacturing.
Thinking creatively and
outside the traditional box can help your company develop a
system of non-monetary rewards that help motivate employees
and thank them for their efforts. Some examples may be
low-cost discounts and tickets to restaurants, parks,
museums, and gas cards, or extremely low cost awards
certificates for major or minor accomplishments.
Awards, ceremonies, and
other gatherings to honor exceptional accomplishments are
good motivators, and increased motivation allows companies
to retain employees. Motivation typically is listed on
employee surveys as an essential and expected part of their
jobs, with salary sometimes listed second or third.
Many employees list
co-workers as one reason they remain in their positions, on
employee surveys. Fostering a positive and friendly
environment will help retain employees longer. Employees
interviewed felt that a safe, comfortable environment where
there was little or no animosity is one reason they
refrained from seeking employment elsewhere, even with
companies offering higher salaries.
Encourage an open
environment. Educate management about maintaining and
stressing an open door policy and encourage discussion and
discourse. When employees feel empowered they are more
likely to turn the other way when competition comes calling
with a potential career opportunity. Foster a teamwork
environment, and if possible make it a pleasant, happy place
to work. Encourage professionalism but never discourage a
sense of humor as long as it remains appropriate. Allow
employees to get together after work or at lunch, for
special occasions or just to bond.
Especially in today’s world,
employees seek and require flexibility. Offering flexible
schedules or time off can help employees stay productive and
still maintain their lives outside of work. Many two-parent
working households, for instance, find childcare costs
exorbitant. Offering childcare or discounts on childcare, or
flexible scheduling to accommodate these families is one
example of how flexibility on the part of the company can
send the right message to employees. Flexibility is listed
as one of the most important things sought by employees,
sometimes above salary.
Hiring and training are
necessary but not without the needed equipment, supplies,
contacts, and freedom for employees to do their jobs.
Skimping on necessary equipment is never wise, nor is
disallowing capable employees the opportunities to make
their own decisions within reason.
Tell You What You Need to Know
Conduct annual employee
surveys to determine the level of buy-in, positive feeling
and to help gage what is important to employees. Do not
assume salary is the main reason they retain their
positions, even if they are well paid. As already stated,
many employees have noted reasons they remain in their
positions have little or nothing to do with money.
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