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January 30, 2013
Waste Less Money: Increase Employee Retention
 
Employee turnover can cost a business more money than they think. According to a Right Management Report, the cost of unwanted turnover averages about 1.5 times an individual’s salary or more. Businesses want the best employees to stick around while those who don’t meet goals or expectations leave without costing the business money. It’s up to the employer to increase employee retention by making sure a candidate is the right fit before providing up a permanent position and offering great benefits that employees want. Here are three ways you can increase employee retention.

Improve Information Communication
One of the most important areas of employee retention that businesses seem to forget about is the interviews. It’s rare in today’s job market for an applicant to be hired after only one interview. However, the number of visits a candidate makes to your office doesn’t matter. The questions you’re asking and the information you’re gathering do. Asking the right questions and informing candidates of key aspects of the open position can make a world of difference in employee retention.
  • Conduct job audits. Before interviewing anyone, you should be aware of what it is the position entails and how tasks are currently being performed. Make sure the candidate is aware of what exactly their responsibilities will be.
  • Understand the position goals. This goes beyond broad generalizations. Have the numbers you want to hit in mind. Ensure each applicant understands what will be expected should you offer, and they accept, the position.
  • Check their references and run a background check, especially if the position requires the employee to work with confidential information.
Take New Hires for a Test Drive
You wouldn’t invest in a car without first doing your research and taking it out for a test drive. Employees are an investment you need to do your research and test out before hiring. While pre-employment screening tests may not be the best fit for every business, there are other options. You can have a one week to 90-day trial period for new hires to make sure they like the role and are a good fit for your company. 
  • Have an introduction meeting or lunch for your new hire with the team they could be working with regularly. A clash in personalities is sometimes a recipe for disaster and could lead to one or more employees leaving.
  • Implement a training program. While your applicants should be aware of their responsibilities, getting the hang of how a business currently does things isn’t always easy. An informational and thorough training can get your employee on board and comfortable in their new role quickly.
  • Touch base regularly to check on progress, hiccups, and to answer any questions they have. You’ll also be able to gauge their learning curve and whether or not they’ll be able to meet the expectations you’ve laid out and agreed to.
Offer the Best Benefits
Not everyone can be Google, who consistently tops the ‘Best Places to Work’ list. However, you can offer your employees better benefits than other businesses around. Be sure to recognize hard work, great work, and the efforts of your employees. Not all businesses can contribute to 401(k) plans for their employees or offer large holiday bonuses, but it is up to the employer to find ways they can benefit for their employees who do what they can to benefit the company.
  • Have quarterly bonuses or raffles where you reward those who have met or exceeded their goals. A team structure attached to these goals and rewards will build a cohesive work force for your business.
  • Take a survey from current employees about what their favorite benefits and perks of being an employee are. You’ll gain insight into what motivates them, what doesn’t and what else they want to see from management.
  • Employees want to develop their professional skills while at a company. This is especially the case with Millennials. Even if your business can’t offer cash or product incentives on the same level as others, you can offer mentors and in-house training sessions. Don’t be afraid to introduce new responsibilities that will develop your staff into better employees than they currently are.
When looking to increase employee retention, don’t aim for a 0% turnover rate, but a number near that instead. You want to be able to retain the best employees while parting ways with those who just aren’t a good fit. In order to attract the best candidates and find the right hires, your job postings and interviews need to clearly lay out the expectations. Candidates need to be aware of what it is they are getting in to if they work with your company, but it is also up to employer to screen applicants thoroughly to discover whether or not someone is cultural and professional fit with the position. Then, be sure to provide the benefits and perks that will keep the best employees around. 

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Erica Bell is a small business writer who focuses on topics such as business loans and credit card processing. She is a web content writer for Business.com, a directory that provides advice on topics including small business credit cards and payroll software solutions.
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