Best Way to Retain Employees

Gina Deveney
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When it comes to retaining employees, you have a lot of variables to consider. Some are motivated solely by financial incentives, while others need opportunities to learn new things and fulfill their potential. Because losing valuable employees hurts the bottom line, employee retention is one of the biggest challenges facing HR professionals today. Here are several ways to work on retaining employees even if your budget is limited.

In some cases, retaining employees may be as simple as giving them a sense of ownership. Workers are more likely to stay with a company if they feel their jobs have a direct impact on the organization's success. These employees are also more likely to support efforts for improvement, keep an open mind when you are introducing new ideas and accept organizational change. To instill a sense of ownership in employees, let them know how their work directly affects the success of colleagues and customers.

Offering more money or better benefits isn't always the best way to retain a valuable employee. This is especially true if the employee is motivated by intrinsic factors such as engaging in challenging work or overcoming professional obstacles. Retaining these employees is best accomplished by using the FLAME method — feedback, lots of skills, autonomy, mine and effect on others — in your workplace. Using this method, you attempt to retain employees by offering plenty of feedback, permitting workers to use a variety of skills, giving employees as much autonomy as possible, allowing workers to own their tasks and showing employees their effect on other people.

Offering inexpensive perks may also help you with retaining employees. In some cases, it's not the dollar value of the incentive that motivates employees to stay with a company. It's making employees feel they are valued. Something as simple as buying lunch on Mondays or having a company barbecue every summer helps you show employees they matter to your company. If you use this tactic, be sure to survey employees to find out what they really want. You won't inspire loyalty by having a company barbecue if what your employees really want is the opportunity to leave early on Fridays.

Another key to retaining employees is offering opportunities for growth. Skilled employees aren't likely to stay with your company very long if they believe there are better opportunities elsewhere. Address this issue by creating a management training program or offering employee development opportunities on a regular basis. These initiatives may cost money at first, but your company is sure to reap the rewards in the long run by retaining valuable employees and using their new skills to benefit the bottom line.

If employee retention is one of your greatest challenges, start by surveying employees to find out what they really want. Then, develop new programs or implement new policies to motivate and inspire your best workers. Retaining employees is never easy, but it is possible with the right tactics.


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