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Three Easy Ways to Retain Great Employees

With an increasingly competitive talent market, what options do companies have to help retain their key employees? Here are three very affordable tips.

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If retaining your top performers is a concern, you’re not alone. According to the 2015 Compensation Best Practices Report from PayScale, 63% of employers reported employee retention as their “top concern.” With an increasingly competitive talent market, the grass can easily look greener to even a slightly unsatisfied employee. So what options do companies have to help retain their key employees? Here are three tips that surprisingly won’t cost you much.

1. Conduct stay interviews.
Conducting a stay interview is a critical retention tool, particularly for key employees. A stay interview can be held one-on-one, through a survey or questionnaire, or done in a group setting with several targeted employees. Stay interviews are more positive-focused, asking about what keeps employees working for your company and how else their talents and skills can be utilized. For sample question ideas, please visit drjohnsullivan.com.

Proactively reaching out to your key employees prior to any hint of searching for greener pastures minimizes your overall time (and resources) spent on retention. In addition, stay interviews are inexpensive, they don’t require any specialized manager training, and they significantly increase employee loyalty.

2. Train managers to get to know their employees more interpersonally.

According to the PayScale report, the top two reasons people left an organization in 2014 are the same as the previous three years: “personal reasons” and “seeking higher pay elsewhere” (21 percent for both). In a 2014 jobseeker survey conducted by staffbay.com, 52.6% of respondents exposed the “personal reasons” a bit more, saying they wanted to leave their current job because they “did not trust their boss.” One of the easiest ways to combat trust issues is for managers to establish more interpersonal relationships. Encourage them to get to know their employees (and vice versa) beyond what they see at work. Have them schedule regular one-on-one lunch meetings and have conversations throughout the week about non-work related topics.

To foster their interpersonal skills, you may need to provide additional manager training. According to Leigh Steere, co-founder of Managing People Better, LLC, an effective manager needs both relationship skills (asking, listening, encouraging, coaching), as well as results-oriented skills (setting expectations, confronting performance issues, establishing appropriate controls). For more information on these types of manager trainings, please contact our HR Team.

3. Educate employees about your benefits package.
Many employers offer some kind of benefits package to their employees, but even the most competitive benefits package won’t help you retain any employees unless they understand what is offered. Consider adding as many avenues of communication as possible to help boost awareness, including:
• Both online and paper enrollment materials;
• Newsletter articles;
• Direct mail to home/residences;
• Benefit fairs;
• Virtual education (webinars);
• Group and individual meeting options with a benefits rep;
• Company intranet posts; and
• Social media posts.

You may also want to spend some time coaching your managers on how to speak with employees about their benefits and total compensation package, as this was another area of weakness highlighted in the PayScale Report.

With the right retention tools in place, you can spend more time on growing your business and less time, money, and resources on replacing your top performers. For more information, please contact us.

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