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January 21, 2014
New Year, Employee Resolutions…Uh-Oh
It always happens in January: My phone rings off the virtual hook, my inbox swells, my mailbox fills up. Why, you ask? Well, because people have made their New Year’s resolutions, and finding a new, better paying job with a more promising future is ever on the list.

The job market is still tough, but your employees will be looking nevertheless. And doesn't your job as an HR professional get harder and more demanding when you have to go on a hiring spree, rather than simply working with an existing team? It's like two steps forward, two steps back, isn't it?

Even scarier than the new year dash is the mass exodus that will take place when the job market actually improves. So how can you keep turnover rates reasonable, and hold on to those well-trained, experienced, well-adjusted employees you already have?

Obviously, as an HR professional, you have a lot of pull, but you don't make all the rules. We know that. My advice? Let the big bosses be very clear on what you need in order to do your job well, and remind them that turnover means lost productivity and increased expense. Why not shift that expense to keeping workers happy so the company won't miss a beat while new folks are training?

According to the Society for Human Resource Management and  CareerJournal.com, by The Wall Street Journal, most employees leave for better benefits or salaries. A lack of career advancement is the second most common sticking point. HR professionals with a high retention rate say that tuition reimbursement, competitive vacation and holiday policies, and competitive salaries are the keys.

Make it happen. Find a way. It will pay off tenfold in the long run, increasing loyalty, productivity, and ultimately, profits

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Suzanne Ritchie is an independent career coach who specializes in helping her clients make the move into technical and marketing jobs.
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