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It’s good for morale because employees get a chance to work together over a longer period of time, building solid working relationships and understanding each other’s areas of strength and weakness.

It’s good for the bottom line because there’s no way around it -- hiring new workers is expensive, no matter the industry. According to a 2011 study from the National Association of Colleges and Employees, the average cost for recruiting an employee was $5,054. The Employment Policy Foundation reports that the cost of replacing an employee can reach upward of $15,000.

Avoiding those costs is the reason many businesses are putting an emphasis on retaining employees, using some of the techniques listed below.

Pay employees what they are worth.

Why work for less? Fair compensation – or the lack thereof – is one of the chief reasons people leave a company. Employees know better than anyone what the market will bear for their services, and if they find a job that pays better, you can believe they will take the money. At the end of the day, fair pay equals respect for the employee. If you want the best and brightest to stick around, pay them what they are worth.

Challenge employees.

The best employees want more from their job than simply showing up each day and performing the same, routine job functions. Challenge them by working to set goals they can achieve and show them what they do is part of the larger financial picture of the business.

Encourage creativity and let employees have input into business operations.

Employees who deal with the day-to-day operations of a company are often the ones who have the best ideas of how to make those processes more efficient. Create an environment where employees have the chance to voice these ideas and then put the best ones into practice. This will make employees feel a part of the business, not like hired hands.

Provide employees with a learning environment.

With technology evolving rapidly and changing how business is conducted, employees need to acquire new skills to keep up. Providing good employees with a chance to learn new skills is an excellent way to show the company cares about nurturing and retaining its best people.
Promote from within. Career-oriented employees are willing to work hard to move up in the company. Nobody wants to be on the bottom level forever. Offer your employees as much career growth as possible, and they will reward your company with their determined work and loyalty.

Provide a friendly work environment.

Managing employees through fear and intimidation is a business practice as out-of-date as the Beta Max. While money might be the No. 1 factor in whether an employee is happy with his or her job, a low-stress office with a minimum of office politics might be a not-too-distant second.  Employees also rightly expect an office with up-to-date equipment and office furniture. 

Stop micro-managing.

The formula for success seems simple. Hire good employees, train them to do their job, giving them the tools they need to accomplish their tasks and then leave them alone. Yet, in some companies managers are encouraged to oversee every moment of an employee’s day, which inevitably makes for an unhappy employee who has had all the traits you hired them for smothered by an overzealous manager. Not good.

Thank employees with rewards.

Simply saying thank you goes a long way in showing employees they are valued. Bonuses and gifts make the thank you even more appreciated. These don’t have to be big monetary investments. Whether it’s passing out movie tickets and gas cards or bringing in a yoga instructor to teach relaxation techniques or a nutritionist to teach healthy eating habits, small perks can offer big returns on employee retention. 


These are just a few of the steps a company can take to encourage employees to stay where they are, rather than encouraging them to look around for greener employment pastures.

This guest post was provided by Jessica Edmondson who writes about strategic leadership training for the University Alliance, a division of Bisk Education, Inc.