Amanda Groves

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High employee turnover is an expensive business. From the cost of rehiring to a loss of institutional knowledge and skills — not to mention the hit to employee morale — it’s something every organization should aim to limit as much as possible. While it’s true that a competitive salary and benefits, flexible work schedules, and a clear path to career progression are all extremely important to today’s workers, they’re not the only things that matter. The fact is that there are plenty of other ways that employers can stem the tide of employee turnover and make their work family stronger than ever.

Let’s look at are four of the best that your company should consider using:

  1. Set collective goals and reward teams

Performance feedback and praising good efforts can go a long way toward making employees feel valued by, and committed to, your organization. But aligning goals and rewards with team performance can have an even greater effect. By working and achieving together as a team, individuals feel connected, and can celebrate together and collaborate more harmoniously.

Feeling like part of a successful team that works well together is a powerful form of employee reinforcement and retention. Encourage teams to identify accomplishments, or give updates on successes or targets reached, and then give them the opportunity to celebrate. It’s little things like this that bind people, teams, and entire companies together.

  1. Involve employees in decision-making and ownership

This is especially important when considering decisions that directly affect people and their own jobs. Your employees can make surprisingly positive and active contributions to the company’s daily functions and general direction if given the chance. They know their own jobs better than anyone, and feeling that their input is not only heard but also acted on will give them a boost.

Involve employees in discussions about the company’s vision, its mission, values, and goals. When they take ownership of these things, they will be more committed to them. Ask them what they need to perform their roles better. What suggestions they have to improve efficiency, streamline activities, and increase profits. When people feel personally invested in the organization’s progress, and that their opinions and suggestions are listened to, they’ll not only go the extra mile, they’ll stick around to share in the success.

  1. Invest in the right managers

The fact is that most people leave a manager, not a company. If you have a bad manager in place, then the people working under them will feel demoralized, under-appreciated, and they’ll soon look elsewhere for other opportunities. Some people are just not cut out for managing people. Choose to elevate those who have genuinely good leadership and people skills, and who will get the best out of the individuals they manage.

Good managers clearly communicate their expectations to employees, give constructive feedback, and deliver praise when it’s due. If a worker feels disempowered, taken for granted, ignored, or taken advantage of, they’ll soon head for the exit, no matter how good the position. So check up regularly on your people managers and give them feedback and training as they need it. Remember, one bad manager is all it takes to create a revolving door that valuable employees use to exit.

  1. Create a positive environment

It’s amazing how much creating a positive working environment can be overlooked as a retention strategy. Employees need positive social interaction and a rewarding workplace culture. People want to enjoy their work — after all, they spend a great deal of their time there. Just because people have fun, doesn’t mean they’re not getting the job done. In fact, the opposite is true. If they feel relaxed and good about their workplace, they’re more inclined to work harder and, you guessed it, stay there.

How often have you heard someone say “I could get another job, but I love where I work?” Sure, you may have also heard someone say “I hate my job and my office, but I’m staying for the money,” but of the two, who’s going to do the better job and hang in there for the long-term? Nurturing organizational traditions, celebrating company milestones, and encouraging social events helps people feel connected and part of a work family.

Happy employees are long-term employees

These might seem like simple solutions, but the fact is that when your employees are happy, feel valued, and involved, they’re less likely to jump ship. We don’t all enjoy work all day, every day, but taking these steps and making these investments in your people can ensure it’s as good as it can be. And that means keeping the best people for longer.

What tactics does your company use to keep your employees engaged and on board?


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