The Retention Challenge: 5 Ideas For Keeping Employees Happy

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Before the calendar turned, I had blogged about why 2015 will be the “Year of the Employee.”

HR professionals will be looking for high levels of employee retention and productivity in 2015,and in some way, shape, or form, this has always been their job.

But this year, there’s been a lot of buzz about approaching this goal with a new-found focus. When it comes to retention, is there more that can be done?

Lots more opportunities for employees out there

The market for labor is currently hyper-competitive. Businesses everywhere are looking to expand and open new positions. This means that, from an HR perspective, there’s a great deal of pressure for companies to keep their most talented performers.

There are a great many opportunities out there today, and people are sure to jump ship from their current jobs if they think they can find something better.

Therefore, 2015 is going to be the year of employee retention.

According to a recent post here on TLNT, keeping people around is more important in HR now than ever. HR speaker, writer, and social media strategist Laurie Ruettimann believes that it’s time for businesses and their HR offices to tackle the retention question head-on. She said, in part:

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How do you keep the right people in the right jobs while also acknowledging that employees are capitalists, too? I have some ideas for you. Why don’t you do some good old-fashioned HR for a change? I know, I know. That’s crazy. But you have access to assessments, talent management methodologies, workforce planning tools, and workforce optimization software.”

5 ideas for keeping a happy workforce

Once you’ve crunched all the numbers and analyzed all the information at your fingertips, you’ll discover that mostly boils down to one thing – treating your employees better.

Here are five (5) ideas for building a happier workforce that will stay for the long haul:

  1. Money, money, money — This one is not rocket science; people are more likely to stay with employers that are willing to pay them handsomely. If you’re able to periodically give your workers raises, you will no doubt see a considerable uptick in retention.
  2. Additional budget improvements — Of course, paying your staff more isn’t the only way you can invest in your employees. Consider modifying the budget in other ways, like perhaps spending more on travel opportunities for your employees, or investing more deeply in training resources. Be creative.
  3. Revisiting the office environment — Some people might value the nature of their workspace. For example, can you afford to give more people legitimate offices instead of just cubicles? This is a surefire way to make people feel like their roles are more appreciated.
  4. Building a long-term plan — In the long run, people like to know where their careers are going. They like to have opportunities to acquire more skills and climb the corporate ladder. Is there a clear path toward career success carved out for your staff members? If not, consider making this a priority.
  5. A focus on recognition — Finally, people like to feel like they’re recognized by their employers. Showing a little bit of gratitude for your employees’ work is simple, cheap, easy, yet amazingly effective for building up retention among your ranks. You’d be amazed at how big an impact one basic “thank you!” card can have.

And, a big shout out to Laurie Ruettimann for inspiring me to write this post!

This originally appeared on Ceridian’s HCM blog.

Jayson Saba is Ceridian’s Vice President of Market Research & Industry Relations. He leads Ceridian’s market research, competitive intelligence and industry analyst relations. Prior to joining Ceridian, Jayson was the lead analyst covering core HR, Workforce Management and Outsourcing at the HCM practice of Boston-based Aberdeen Group. During his tenure, he wrote and published over 100 research papers and benchmark reports.

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