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Downturning Turnover:7 Ways to Maximize Employee Retention

Beyond the balance sheet, the real test of whether or not a company has what it takes for long-term success is the ability to attract and retain quality people. High employee turnover is a symptom that something within the infrastructure of the organization is flawed. And until that flaw is addressed, turnover will continue to be disruptive, expensive, and damaging to the morale of even the most loyal employees until that flaw becomes fatal. If your company is suffering from high turnover rates, take a look at these seven proven ways to maximize employee retention.

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  1. Create a positive corporate culture – Numerous studies have shown that employees who work in a harmonious and positive atmosphere tend to be more satisfied and more productive than those who view the places they work as negative and unfulfilling. And it’s no surprise that happier people tend to stay with the companies they work for much longer than those who aren’t all that thrilled about coming to work each day. The challenge in creating and maintaining a positive corporate culture is that it must come from the top down. The real goal here is to create an atmosphere of trust and respect—an atmosphere of openness and transparency that fuels employee engagement by encouraging individual input and by reinforcing positive employee behaviors. In today’s hyper-connected world, being known for having a positive corporate culture is a must for attracting top talent.
  2. Offer competitive pay and benefits – Awhile back when the economy was suffering, many good employees suffered with unfulfilling jobs for lack of anything better. However, now that the economy is healthy and jobs are more prevalent, that has all changed. With more companies looking for well-qualified people, offering competitive compensation and benefits is a must. This is especially true in light of the big increase of Millennials in the job market, as they tend to switch jobs every two to three years. Reviewing pay and benefits packages to make sure they are current with the industry is crucial. Otherwise, employees who feel they are not being compensated for what they are worth will start looking at other companies.
  3. Recognize employee achievements – All employees want to work where their efforts are recognized and appreciated. Companies that implement programs that recognize and reward individual and team achievements in meaningful and relevant ways will reduce turnover and increase loyalty by making employees feel that they are an important part of the company.
  4. Offer job flexibility – The days of the nine-to-five job are numbered. As Boomers retire at record rates and Millennials flood the workforce, today’s employees are looking for work/life balance. As a result, they expect more flexibility in the workplace. This flexibility comes in many forms, such as compressed schedules, on-site daycare and opportunities to work at least part-time from home. Although some companies are resistant to making job flexibility concessions, those that recognize that being more flexible means more satisfied employees
    and greater retention are embracing the work/life balance philosophy.
  5. Provide growth opportunities – In order to keep high achieving employees from jumping ship they must be constantly challenged.
    Otherwise, they will become restless and look to other companies for opportunities to help them grow and progress. To keep these high achievers,
    the challenge for management is to maintain a healthy dialog with employees to help them set and achieve career goals that will keep them engaged,
    progressing, and happy to be working where they are.
  6. Promote collaboration – Fragmented teams and individuals tend to get frustrated with their work. This is especially the case for the Millennials who have been brought up on technology and enjoy the collaborative process. Companies that provide the means for their employees to communicate and collaborate on projects can dramatically reduce employee turnover. Sales oriented companies, in particular, stand to benefit greatly from implementing sales enablement tools to enhance sales team collaboration and streamline objectives and support.
  7. Hire the right people – Ideally, the goal of every company is to hire the right people for the right jobs. But as management and HR have come to understand, hiring the right people is something that takes a great deal of time and effort. All job candidates must be interviewed thoroughly and considered carefully to make sure they have the knowledge, skills, personality and ability to make them a good fit with the corporate culture. Otherwise they will soon be out the door.

These are but a few of the many proven practices companies can implement in an effort to maximize employee retention. However, as mentioned earlier, regardless of what steps are taken to minimize turnover, full commitment and support from the top down is absolutely vital to success.

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