Thursday, 31 August 2017

Retaining top talent can be among the leading stressors for entrepreneurs, sometimes even more worrisome than losing a client or dealing with a delinquent vendor. 

Finding good employees, replacing ones who leave, and training new employees is costly in time and in money. An August 2016 Society for Human Resource Management survey found the average cost per hire is more than $4,100, and it takes an average of 42 days to replace a position.

Here are a few ways to keep your top employees, even in a competitive job market: 

A hiring and training strategy

In an International Risk Management Institute story, Mike Poskey, president of ZERORISK HR said all companies, regardless of size, benefit from a sound employee retention strategy that starts with a well-designed assessment/selection process and a solid employee orientation program. 

Your payment structure 

Consider investing in your employees by offering signing bonuses, performance bonuses, and robust yearly raises. Many companies lose organizational leaders based on a few thousand dollars per year. Look at payment structure and determine whether you need more competitive salaries.

Transparency and feedback

Open-door policies with management (via online forums/in-person meetings/town halls) and efforts to regularly solicit feedback from employees across all levels of an organization can improve employee engagement. According to an HR Magazine article titled "Employees Want to Matter," employees appreciate it when employers take 100 percent responsibility for miscommunications, and when they regularly ask staffers what they love most about their jobs. 

Development and upward mobility

Employees like to know where their careers are headed, so be open and honest about next stages and roles as they become available. Create an open dialogue about individual career goals and check in regularly (at least once per year) to see how they are feeling about their career trajectory. It's also a good idea to offer educational development at outside conferences, as well as internal mentoring programs and tuition reimbursement. 

Spend time revamping your internal culture

While “company culture" is a common buzz phrase, a positive one can be an important factor when it comes to retaining good employees. An attractive culture is one that has transparency, camaraderie, upward mobility and constant education as part of it. It also has a solid belief system attached to the values of the company. According to a recent Columbia University study, businesses with good company cultures experience turnover of around 13.9 percent, compared with bad cultures that experience 48.4 percent turnover. 

If you're seeing uncomfortable levels of employee churn in your business, take a look at your culture. Make sure your management team is leading by example and change dysfunctional practices. Employees who love where they work don't leave. They also tend to tell others about their good fortune. That positive word of mouth will help you build a pool of qualified applicants as you grow. 

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