How do I retain Good Employees?
“If they don’t like it here, let them leave. Good riddance!”
(What do you think the costs are of that practice?)
The Toll of Turnover. The failure to take steps to retain good employees is expensive. Estimates range from one half to two times the salary of the employee being replaced. Costs associated with turnover include:
- Loss of production,
- Shifting the burden of more work to co-workers, perhaps resulting in overtime pay,
- Loss of institutional knowledge and experience,
- Loss of specific, hard-to-find skills,
- Recruitment costs for new hire,
- Training of new employee.
Excessive turnover leaves an impression with other employees and potential new employees that something is wrong with the company. That could lead to more turnover or the inability to hire quality candidates.
Admittedly, some turnover is inevitable for a variety of personal and professional reasons, having little to do the with culture of the company. For example about a third of the worldwide workforce consists of millennials (ages 23-39) and a 2019 workplace survey by Akumina revealed that 75% of them believe that constantly changing jobs advances their careers. A Gallup survey showed that at any given time 60% of millennials say they are open to a different job opportunity.
In spite of all this, employees are less likely to leave good jobs with a good company.
Upping the Odds for Retention. Here are some steps you can take to keep employees engaged and positive about their jobs:
- Develop a retention strategy so that you can identify key, high-performing employees early. Know who those employees are and understand their motivations and needs. Then you can take steps to minimize reasons for them to leave.
- Listen to employees so that you can understand and mitigate reasons for job dissatisfaction.
- Review your compensation structure to make sure your pay remains competitive for the job categories you employ.
- Maximize the use of the employee’s skills, knowledge, interests and talents so that employees feel engaged and valued.
- Work with employees to develop a career path so they don’t see themselves in a dead-end job. Commit to training and development for them so that they can be successful.
- Enhance jobs by adding meaningful job responsibilities where appropriate.
- Involve the employee in decision-making about the job and the work environment where opportunities allow.
- Celebrate success to recognize and emphasize the value of the employee to the company.