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Employee Retention: 10 Factors That Make a Real Difference

written by: V!kas Shukla•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 9/14/2011

Managers must understand that factors in employee retention play a vital role in the smooth functioning of any business. Here, we explain these factors in greater detail including how to ensure a work/life balance and the importance of employee recognition.

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    1. Work and Personal Life Balance

    Employee Retention Undoubtedly, family is of utmost importance for everyone. When working hours become too long and put a strain on the personal life of employees, no employee will stay around even if you offer higher pay. Let the employees realize you value their personal life. Sometimes, just small gestures like granting an employee the extended lunch once or twice a month to watch his son’s football game will help you win the trust of employees. Consequently such employees become loyal ones and stay with the organization for an extended period of time.

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    2. Fair and Equitable Treatment

    All employees should be treated in a just and fair manner. No favoritism. If you do something good for one employee, it will demonstrate its effects, good or bad, on other employees as well.

    For example, You raise the annual salary of staff person A, who is a college graduate and has been with the company for just one year by $20,000. Now, such news never remains a secret in an organization and it will affect the morale of other employees. When another member of the same team, staff member B, an MBA with an excellent track record with the company, finds she is making less money than staff person A, her motivation will be negatively affected and she may look for other jobs.

    Even if you know staff person A deserves higher pay, don’t forget it will have an impact on others as well.

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    3. Opportunity for Growth and Development

    No employee wants to get stuck in a position where there is no possibility of growth or new opportunities. When a staff member feels bored with his current duties, offer him training in another department or facet of the company. Let employees learn new skills. It will be useful for both the employee and the organization.

    Career-oriented employees must be given a chance to try new challenges, attend seminars and sit on committees.

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    4. Competitive Compensation Package

    The feel of getting paid fairly for talent and work garners employee satisfaction. Conduct research on what other companies in the same industry are paying their employees for a similar type of job. If your package is not competitive enough, employees will discover it soon and they will be looking for companies offering higher compensation packages.

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    5. Quality of Supervision

    The saying “People leave managers, not companies" is often very true. Supervisors play a vital role in employee retention. Of course, staff members want a courteous and friendly supervisor. Moreover, they want supervisors to have following qualities:

    • Clear performance expectations
    • Regular and timely performance feedback
    • Provide a framework within which the employees can grow and succeed

    A lack of these qualities in any supervisor leads employees to look for a better work environment.

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    6. Never Threaten the Job / Salary of an Employee

    Employee Opportunities A threat of job loss makes employees feel insecure. Even when you know layoffs may happen if the team fails to meet production or sales targets, do not let employees know about such layoffs. This will make them stressed and nervous about their future. They’ll soon be updating their resumes and applying for new jobs. I am not saying you should keep important information away from staff, however, do not speak of anything that will make them want to look for another job.

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    7. Rewards and Recognition

    Employees at all the levels want their efforts to be recognized and appreciated. Of course, an encouraging ‘thank you’ does wonders. Rewards can be commissions, bonuses, gifts or anything that will boost the morale employees. These play a great role in retaining employees.

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    8. Talent and Skill Utilization

    Every employee offers knowledge, skills and talent. Everyone is expert at something or other. Certain employees are blessed with talent that is not directly related to their job description but can be used for the organization. Utilizing such talents makes employees realize that managers recognize everything they have to offer to the organization.

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    9. Let the Employees Articulate Ideas

    Welcome input by employees. Everyone has ideas and opinions. Let members express their mind freely for the improvement of the company, ask them to provide their feedback. Employees want their thoughts to be taken seriously without being ridiculed. It’s not necessary that great ideas come from only top management, anyone can have an excellent idea. Create an organizational culture where employee participation is encouraged.

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    10. Shorten the Feedback Loop

    Waiting for the annual performance evaluation to give feedback lowers employee motivation. Shorten this feedback loop and reinforce positive behavior. Feedback doesn’t always mean a highly structured and regulated tool, simply a tap on the back of the employee and telling them they are doing a good job can work wonders.

    Take a look at your organization. Are you considering these factors in employee retention to ensure you have the best talent within your company? If not, it's time to revisit your strategies.

    Please be sure to check out the other tips and strategies found in Bright Hub's HR Guide for Recruiting and Retaining Employees.

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    Author's experience in the human resource field.

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