How to Retain Quality Employees

You’ve found the perfect employee. She’s talented, smart and skilled in exactly the areas where your business had been lacking. She’s also a real people person, friendly and genuine. You pay competitive wages and she accepts the job. Life is great! What more could you want?

One year later, though, she gets lured away by a competitor, and that’s a big problem because employee turnover can be expensive. In fact, an article on Inc.com says that turnover costs have been estimated as high as 150 percent of a position’s salary. So, what do you do? The short answer, of course, is to focus on employee retention.

Ways to engage employees

The Wall Street Journal shares an intriguing idea: Instead of only conducting exit interviews to see why people are leaving, also conduct “stay” interviews to discover why employees who stay choose to do so. Ask what would make them leave and what issues are, for them, non-negotiable. What needs to be improved?

Also provide regular opportunities for honest and open communication between management and employees. Encourage questions and make sure employees don’t suffer any repercussions for honest feedback.

Also consider offering extra perks, which don’t have to have a high dollar value to have a positive effect. “Free bagels on Fridays and dry-cleaning pickup and delivery may seem insignificant to you,” according to the article, “but if they help employees better manage their lives, they’ll appreciate it and may be more likely to stick around.”

TheBalance.com points out that clear expectations are crucial to keeping employees satisfied. Expectations stated on a Tuesday that are completely different by Thursday will cause unnecessary, unhealthy stress. If a change in expectations needs to be made, explain to employees what the change is and why, acknowledging that expectations are, in fact, being adjusted.

Quality supervision is also key. “People,” the article reads, “leave managers and supervisors more often than they leave companies or jobs.” If a supervisor contributes to an employee feeling undervalued, the chance of turnover increases. The article also lists these areas where employee complaints often focus:

  • Lack of clarity about expectations
  • Lack of clarity about earning potential
  • Lack of feedback about performance
  • Failure to hold scheduled meetings
  • Failure to provide a framework within which the employee perceives he can succeed

Here’s one more important factor to consider from Inc.com: Seventy-four percent of employees are frustrated when they receive subpar benefits, which often leads to looking for another job. If your turnover rate is high, take a close look at what benefits you’re offering and, if possible, compare them to what competitors are providing. From medical and dental insurance to a quality retirement plan, employees who receive competitive benefits are more satisfied overall with their jobs.

While it’s a big step in the right direction to know you’ve matched benefits with competitors (and your employees will surely appreciate that), it’s even better when you can offer benefits that allow your company to set the bar for excellent retention.

Consider voluntary benefits

Employers are expanding their benefits portfolios with a range of voluntary benefits, from critical illness insurance to ID theft protection, that can help make companies more attractive to employees. This category of benefits also includes legal insurance plans, which are growing in popularity every year.

Offering your employees a legal benefits plan is an ideal way to let them know you value them and care about their wellbeing. Here’s why:

  • According to the American Psychological Association, challenges with personal finances top the list of stressful situations.
  • Legal needs can be expensive, triggering that stress.
  • So, knowing you have access to affordable legal services with a quality attorney is genuinely appreciated when the need arises.
  • Appreciative employees are more likely to stay than dissatisfied ones!

Offer the most comprehensive legal benefits plan available

U.S Legal Services offers legal insurance plans that are easy to administer and are a no-cost enhancement to benefits you now offer. Learn more about our Family Defender™ plan, which provides affordable access to legal assistance and coverage for the most commonly needed legal services.