Top 5 Ways to Improve Employee Retention

by Steve Yakesh

As noted in my previous blog, Preparing For Tomorrow’s Workforce…Strategically, our workforce is shrinking and employers need to have a plan for two critical items:

  1. How to retain top talent
  2. How to attract top talent

Let’s start with how to retain top talent. Every employee is important to a company’s success, but I recommend you prioritize the most critical positions within your company, and the most critical employees within your company, and start to develop a retention plan for them and work your way down the organization chart. According to a study performed in 2012 by DDI (Development Dimensions International), one-third of all employees expect to leave their job within a year. With the cost of replacing a non-leadership employee (including advertising the role, managers time to interview, productivity loss, professional search fees, etc.) at 26% to 46% of the individual’s income, attrition can be costly.  And the cost goes up for leadership roles, typically three times more than a non-leadership role.

So why do employees leave? Versique interviews thousands of Twin Cities employees each year from a variety of industries, functions, and at all levels.

Top 5 reasons why employees leave:

  • Poor relationship with their manager
  • Lack of work/life balance
  • Lack of meaningful work
  • Lack of trust in the workplace
  • A less than enjoyable culture or cooperation with their co-workers

Now that we understand some of the main reasons why employees leave, how can we improve retention?

Top 5 ways to improve employee retention:

  • Conduct a survey to understand what your employee base is lacking
  • Conduct exit interviews to learn why they left, and how your company can improve
  • Improve and promote open communication at all levels
  • Enhance your training and development programs, and consider creating personalized development plans for key employees
  • Hire people who not only have the right skill-set, but also fit your culture and core values

As mentioned in my last blog, finding top-tier talent in the Twin Cities is only going to get tougher in the years to come.  The easiest way to solve this problem is to retain the current top-tier employees you already have. Next time, we’ll cover how to attract top-tier talent!

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