Employee RetentionBy Dan Simmons

Time, effort, and planning are required for a comprehensive retention program. However, there are simple, cost-effective, and logical strategies that can prevent top employees from jumping ship without using a comprehensive retention program.

Here’s an example:

Recently, I was interviewing a candidate for a supervisor-level position, and the way the candidate described his opinion of work really struck a chord. He said, “The main things I want out of a job is to enjoy going to work, to be treated fairly, and to be paid for what I do.”

Sounds fair enough, right? The problem is that this degreed professional had waited two years for his last raise . . . and when he received one, it was a whopping $15 a week. On top of that, he has a boss who attempts to motivate his employees by screaming progressively louder in order to get his point across. Considering how this candidate views his current employment and what his ideal job should be like, it’s no wonder my colleague was able to get him interested in their opportunity.

A (seemingly) Simple Solution
It’s a shame that his current employer is going to lose him for reasons that are completely preventable:

  • The company lacks an annual review program that rewards those employees who deserve more.
  • One of its managers does not recognize the efforts of people on his team.
  • The company fails to show this person that he’s appreciated.

Many people leave their place of employment for reasons exactly like the ones listed above. The cold, hard truth is that a company should never lose a top-performing employee for any of these reasons. But I see it happen all the time.

The important question is this one: has it happened at your company or is there a chance it could happen? Be pro-active about remedying the situation and decreasing the chances that one of your employees is going to leave by:

  • Tell everyone on your team (who you wish to retain) that you appreciate his or her efforts. A face-to-face conversation is best, but if you’re swamped with work, send a personalized email.
  • Make certain that you have an annual review program in place.
  • Research salary ranges and norms for people in positions who report to you and try to keep your people paid at least to the level of industry norms.
  • Who will be ready when a recruiter calls?

Outside of rewarding performance with an increase in compensation, these retention tips cost nothing. All they require is a little extra effort in the way of verbal gratitude and an expression of how important the company feels the employee to be. As the old saying goes, “We can do this the hard way…or we can do it the easy way.” There’s an easy way to retain employees, and while some companies fail to recognize this, yours doesn’t have to be one of them.