Three Ways to Increase Employee Retention: ACE Tips
Turnover is a costly for every employer – for small to mid-size business; it can be devastating. Every business should make it a priority to increase employee retention. When you rely on each staff member a single loss can have a ripple effect with long-term consequences. Some estimates put the cost of turnover at six to nine months of an employee’s salary to hire and train their replacement. For small companies or those that don’t have a dedicated HR department, the impact can be even larger: while coworkers struggle to pick up unfinished work, a non-HR professional has to take time away from other duties to hire.
Increasing employee retention is critical, particularly for small to midsize employers. While reasons for turnover vary, there are steps you can take to increase retention in any size company.
Appreciation (everyone wants it)
In every company there are workers who get the job done. You rarely have to think about them: they show up every day (on time), perform competently, and often help others. You give them a task and forget about it, but are you forgetting to give them the appreciation they deserve? It’s easy to take them for granted, but in a recent survey, two out of three workers (66 percent) would be likely to quit their job if they didn’t feel appreciated by their boss.
Even those employees who aren’t top performers want to feel appreciated for the work they do. We spend almost half our waking lives on the job and want to feel good about the time we put in. Whether it’s top talent or a new hire, making time to show your appreciation, either in words or deeds, is critical for employee retention. Take time to:
- Note and value reliability
- Acknowledge milestones and even small accomplishments or learning
- Promote appreciation from management and peers
- Showcase your appreciation publicly
Communication at All Levels
It’s estimated over 30 percent of new hires quit their job within the first six months: a costly mistake for many employers. One of the top reasons is an expectation of the work differed from the actuality: the job wasn’t explained properly. Once on the job they realized it wasn’t a good fit, and moved on. From new hires to seasoned employees, open, honest, and constant communication is critical.
Employees want to know what’s expected (before the hire to when they retire) and how they contribute to the organization. Communicating fairly and openly with staff gives them the information they need to perform their tasks as well as contribute to the overall mission. It also helps avoid misunderstandings that could lead to larger problems.
Communication has to be a two-way street. Listening to employee needs and ideas is important: acting on their suggestions, when possible and appropriate, is critical. Employees will test boundaries – if you’re not open to suggestions about small things, you may be missing out on ideas that could have a larger (even profitable) impact.
The need to take pride in what we do is instilled in all of us. At work, we want to know our voice is heard and we have the power to take ownership of the tasks we perform. Giving employees an opportunity to run their workstation as their own business is important: that sense of ownership drives critical thinking, innovation, and productivity.
When staff members are micromanaged, they perceive they are viewed as incompetent. They work in fear of being corrected, never taking risks or making suggestions, even when they know improvement can be made. When allowed to perform independently, the take ownership: pride, innovation, and productivity are the result.
To avoid the cost and disruption of turnover, and to increase employee retention, remember ACE: Appreciation, Communication, and Empowerment. They’re valuable tools in keeping a satisfied workforce.
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