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The Top 5 Ways to Improve Employee Retention

June 13, 2012

Happy, engaged and motivated employees = lower turnover. This post touches on five things you can do to promote happiness, engagement and motivation at your company.

Today we’re going talk to you about five techniques that can help your company increase its employee retention rate.

When considering employee retention, we like to think of it this way: In your life outside of work, you wouldn’t put the people or things that you care about the most in a position where they were at risk of being taken away from you. The same applies to your workforce. You need to make sure that you are keeping your employees engaged, motivated and ultimately, happy. Keep them connected to your company and let them know consistently that they matter or else they will be taken away by a company that will do that for them.

So…let’s get started!

First, and most importantly, the roadmap to retention starts by hiring people who are best suited to the position and who will fit your company culture. This job fit will keep them happy, longer. For example, if your company rewards team accomplishment, you need to make sure the person you’re hiring is motivated by team-based rewards. If they are motivated in other ways (such as individual contribution), their job satisfaction will be low and you risk losing them.

Second, encourage your employees to take a vested interest in their future at your company. Let them know that they share in the determination of their career path. An emphasis on ‘self-directed’ career pathing will help ensure they’re invested in the direction their career is headed and that they’re doing tasks that they are not only really  good at doing, but that they also enjoy. This shared approach to career development takes the pressure off of the manager to make decisions for their employees. Create a safe place for employees to have a voice and they will speak up and contribute in amazing ways.

Third, put your money where your performance management is. This means you need to pay for the results you expect to receive.  If you want your employees to go above and beyond, make sure they know that you’ll not only recognize their additional effort, but that you’ll also be willing to pay for it. This will get them excited about putting in the extra time and effort and it will get you the results your business requires to grow.

Fourth, let your employees contribute in areas where they might have a personal interest. If there is a project that could benefit from additional perspectives, open up the opportunity to your other employees in different functional areas that you may not have initially considered as potential contributors. Allow them to use their knowledge, skills and abilities that go beyond what they do on a daily basis. This will break up the repetitiveness of their days and get them motivated to keep contributing in new and interesting ways.

Finally, we’ve all heard the age-old phrase concerning “work-life” balance.  One of the best ways we’ve found to ensure that your employees have a healthy work life balance is to actually blur the line between those work/life activities. The more support that you can show for those life activities that fall outside of standard office hours, the more likely that your valued employees will take appropriate time out for themselves. The other healthy byproduct of this support is the consistent appreciation shown by your employees which has a direct connection to higher overall levels of engagement and retention.

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