7 Steps to Better Employee Retention
1. Track retention—if it doesn’t get measured, it doesn’t get improved.
2. Hire right in the first place. A bad hire is an employee who isn’t doing a good job, and who leaves before really carrying his own weight (or perhaps stays on without ever carrying his weight). Plan interviews, with more questions about typical work situations and less “tell me about yourself.”
3. Offer employees a path to greater pay and responsibility:
a. Consider more job grades: instead of accounting clerk, go back to accounting clerk 1, 2, 3, 4
b. Consider merit badges: merit badge in cross-selling mortgages, cross-selling investments, etc.
4. Train first-level supervisors on:
a. Soft compensation: pats on back, atta-boys
b. Fostering team spirit
5. Look for stressors and train leaders on how to help employees in stressful positions. (Look at Dale Collie’s book, Winning Under Fire)
6. Be more flexible on work conditions:
a. Daily work schedule flexibility
c. Vacation or leave-without-pay options
7. Re-evaluate benefits package—from employee’s perspective, not the senior executive’s perspective.
These steps are usually cheaper than pay raises, though pay may have to be increased in a tight labor market.
Remember the costs of turnover are not simply the costs of hiring, but also the costs of training and of ensuring top quality production or customer service during the training period.
For books, articles and consultants who can help with these issues, see my compilation.