As a recruiter, I understand the importance of hiring the right people. But as a business leader, I know that retention is just as important (if not more important). 

We all know that replacing an employee is expensive. But did you know it costs businesses $617 billion in 2018? That’s almost double what it cost in 2010, just eight years prior. Between the skills gap, record unemployment, and generational shifts, recruiting the right people is no walk in the park.  

As a result, it’s crucial that HR and business leaders work together to boost retention. It doesn’t have to be expensive, either – some of the best strategies for boosting retention don’t cost a dime. 

Without further ado here are three things you can do today to boost retention. 

1) Offer Flexible Working Options 

For a year or two now, everyone has been talking about working remotely and flex time. Regardless of how you feel about either option, the proof is in the pudding. Study after study shows that employees love flexible working options. It’s not possible for every role and every organization, but if you can swing it, I highly encourage you to give flex time or remote work a try.  

It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing deal, either. Some employers allow 1-3 remote days a week but require that employees come in the rest of the time. Likewise, you can allow flex time while requiring employees to be in the office from the core hours of 10-4.  

These are just examples, but it shows how you can offer team members more flexibility while still making sure you can schedule meetings and work together in person. 

2Deal with Poor Managers Immediately 

We’ve all heard the saying “people don’t quit jobs, they quit managers.” There’s usually more to the story, but we all know a bad manager can ruin the employee experience. 

I’ll be blunt with you: if you have concerns about a manager or see high turnover on their team, you need to train or fire them immediately. While both can be expensive, it is absolutely more cost-effective than replacing an entire team.  

The longer you let the problem go on, the more faith your team members lose in your company to train and retain effective leaders. If you have great team members, you owe it to them to provide them with the best leadership you can offer. 

3) Offer Employees a Sense of Purpose 

This is a big one that a lot of companies miss. I talk a lot about purpose, but it’s for a reason – people want more than a paycheck from their careers. Although we tend to think of millennials as the purpose generation, the truth is that everyone wants to make a difference through their job. They want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. 

Business leaders and HR need to make sure their organization has a clear sense of purpose beyond profits. Additionally, they need to make sure that purpose guides the operation of the business and is communicated to all employees.  

If you can make your employees feel connected to your purpose, they are so much more likely to stick with you for the long term. 

Retaining Talent Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive 

Like many challenges in business, you can’t solve retention issues by throwing money at the problem. While some aspects of retention do cost money (paying a competitive salary, good benefits, etc.), the truth is that a lot of the equation starts with just treating your people well. 

What are you doing today to encourage employees to stick with the company? 


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