employee_retentionGuest Post by Tess Pajaron

The best employee for your company is one who already has a thorough understanding of the job and a proven track record of being excellent at performing his or her duties.

Make Employee Retention Job Number One

Losing employees has a potentially devastating domino effect. It takes time and money to recruit new employees, then they have to be trained, and then they have to “find their groove” within your company. Bring in some new faces occasionally, but make sure you aren’t losing the ones you’ve already got.

1. Start with Your Managers

The old adage goes “Employees don’t quit their jobs, they quit their managers.” A little investigation and polling have shown that the adage in question is entirely true. Work from the top down. Start with your highest managers, and make your way to your entry level supervisors. Have regular meetings with them, and ensure that everyone is meeting their performance standards. If you have any negative feedback from employees about a member of management, address it immediately.

2. Offer Excellent Training

When employees feel as though they’re stagnating, they’ll begin to seek professional growth in their lives. Eventually, work stops becoming fulfilling and they may feel as though their only course of action is to move on to something different. By constantly training your employees and utilizing new technology, you’re making your workers more efficient and skilled. Employees walk away having learned something, you’ll walk away with improved productivity, and everyone is reaping the benefits.

3. Evaluate Salary and Benefits

Though it’s a less common occurrence with enjoyable jobs, your employees may be plucked off by competitors that have openings for a similar (or higher) position, which offer better benefits and a higher salary. Make sure you stay competitive. It might cost you more on paper to improve your benefits and offer better wages, but that amount may be less than leaking money when you have to recruit constantly and train employees to replace those who have left for greener pastures.

4. Improve Internal Communications

Sometimes, your people just want to know what’s going on. Communication breakdowns create stressful workplaces, and undue stress sends people running. Communication has the power to prevent employee burnout. Make sure you’ve set aside enough time to talk with everyone in meetings, and emphasize your open door policy. Some employers use forums for their employees, and creating a dedicated internal forum will assure that everyone has access to the same information, exactly when it becomes available.

5. Celebrate Company Culture

Nobody wants to feel like a gear in a machine, especially if they don’t know what their particular gear is helping to create. Make sure your company culture is an active part of your employees’ work lives. What charitable causes do you support? What do you stand for? How are you trying to make the world better through your products and services? Hold lunches or company outings once in a while, enjoy each other’s company, and talk about the things that matter. Fostering stronger bonds will help you keep employees tethered to your company.

6. Play Your Employees to Their Strengths

Different generations prefer to work and learn in different ways. For example, millennials have strikingly different working attitudes than their predecessors. You need to be able to innovate and expand the boundaries. If someone has a special skill or is capable of bringing a unique skill to the table, what do you have to lose by letting them? Put trust in your employees and allow them the freedom to complete projects in ways that are intuitive to their personal work styles. They’ll feel valued, and nothing builds a better long term working relationship than that feeling.

Sometimes, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. And when it’s gone, you may not be able to get it back. Make sure your employees know how much you appreciate them for the work that they do, and let them know how valuable they are in helping your companies goals become a reality.

Guest Post

Tess PajaronWith a background in business administration and management, Tess Pajaron currently works at Open Colleges, Australia’s leading online educator. She likes to cover stories about careers and marketing.