How to Retain Your Best Employees

Employees are an often overlooked investment, one which requires regular maintenance to keep them in “good working order.” Competitive pay and benefits is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to keeping your employees engaged and satisfied in their jobs.

How do you maintain your investment?

Consider creating an employee retention program. Studies show that employers benefit from strong employee retention programs. An effective employee retention program saves you time and money by reducing recruiting and training costs, absenteeism and injuries on the job which contributes to improving customer service.

Why do you want to keep employees engaged in their jobs?

According to the 2012 Gallup Employee Engagement Study, employee retention programs help companies succeed and increase their revenue. The study reported that companies with a proactive employee retention policy have:
• 21% higher productivity
• 22% higher profitability
• 37% lower absenteeism
• 65% lower turnover in low-turn industries (25% in high-turn industries)
• 28% less shrinkage
• 48% fewer safety incidents


How do you keep the right people?

Use these keys to improve employee retention:

1. Get the right mindset.

When employees are an afterthought to the business – rather than what actually drives the business – they don’t wait long to leave. But, we’re preaching to the choir. You already know that employees present a great opportunity to improve your business.

2. Provide meaningful work.

Don’t confuse this with glamorous. In 1962, President John Kennedy interrupted his tour of a NASA facility to ask a man carrying a broom, what he was doing. The janitor replied that he was “helping put a man on the moon.” Explain to people why their jobs are important. People want to feel they are part of something bigger than themselves. Connect their job to business goals. Then, ideally, connect the business goals to a greater cause. People will go to great lengths to support something they helped create. Give them a chance to make a difference.

3. Align mission.

An easy way to connect the dots for employees is to focus them on your customers, not the bottom line. Share your vision, goals and plans. Better yet: give employees a scoreboard so they can see how the business is doing. Keep them focused on key success indicators (like customers) for your business. Reward behavior, not just results.

4. Create a positive environment.

Be a company that people want to work for by adopting a “give and take” approach. Be flexible and supportive. A little flexibility in helping employees deal with the work/life balance can help create motivated and loyal employees. Make recognition a natural part of your culture. Say “thank you.” Give kudos, awards, bonuses, time off, gas or coffee cards, free lunch, etc. Better: Personalize it. Best: Create an environment where recognition flows from peer to peer.

5. Create trust.

Share the good and the bad news. Be honest. Helpful byproduct: Employees usually reciprocate.


See the full list of “How to Engage your Employees.
One size does not fit all when it comes to workplace rewards and motivation. Talk to your employees about the benefits that they see at your organization; you might be surprised at their suggestions!