posted by TradePost in Business, Human Resources
Last month’s job report was an indicator that our economy is starting to make a turnaround (TradePost, 3/9/12). The unemployment rate (8.3%) has declined 0.8 percentage points since last August, and the economy has continued to add jobs and show signs of improvement. Also changing are the numbers of Americans who are taking advantage of these rose-colored economic glasses to find a new job. As a result, retention is becoming a hot topic among employers looking for ways to keep their top talent.
In a down economy, companies need to cut costs. Perks that were once provided to employees, such as coffee or snacks in the break room or 401(k) matching, are cut as businesses look for ways to drive down costs and reduce overhead. Dissatisfied as they may be with the removal of such benefits, employees feel lucky to have a job when so many do not – and stay put… for the time being.
With the economy building speed towards a recovery, employees are starting to look around for better job opportunities and environments. Consequently, businesses experience higher rates of turnover and all the costs that accompany it. Not only do companies risk losing their top talent— those who produce their best ideas, the most revenue, and bring the best results—but they also are impacted by the costly price associated with hiring replacements. A new hire means a hit in productivity and lost time, not to mention the costs associated with recruiting, screening, and training new employees.
In view of that, we’ve got several tips for you to help you hang on to your top talent and avoid the costly price of turnover.
1) Benefits: There is more to a job than getting paid, which is why offering a solid benefits plan that includes life insurance, health insurance, and a retirement plan is a must! Soft benefits such as paid lunches and telecommuting are an added bonus.
2) Advancement: The go-getters and top talent that you strive to keep in your company are looking at their position and determining how it fits in with their career as a whole. As their employer, it’s important that you show them a future with your company and how you plan on advancing their professional careers, whether it is through promotion or new job responsibilities.
Which leads us to our next tip…
3) Career development: Your top talent is also looking at how they can increase their value as professionals. Wherever possible, provide your employees with new training, education, and skills to develop them professionally so they have more incentive to stay on board with your company.
4) Incentives: Your top producers are competitive and driven by nature, so keep them interested and motivated in their job by challenging them through contests and added bonus opportunities.
5) Wellness Programs: Offering wellness programs to reduce costs of health benefits is beneficial to both your business as well as your employees. Rewarding your employees by implementing smoking cessation programs and offering discounts to employees who maintain a healthy lifestyle gives employees more control over their health care costs and ability to drive prices down (TradePost, 11/3/11).
Some of the above tips will cost your company money, but not all of them will – and there are ways to spread the costs across your entire workforce in many cases. Yet, the value of the investment back into your human capital will surely pay for itself in employee retention.