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What are some ways to retain employees? Why should you care?

A recent study suggests that the direct costs of replacing an employee can reach as high as 33% or more of their annual salary. The same study concluded 75% of the causes are avoidable for most employers. Think about that for a minute. It’s why employee retention is vital.

After doing some research we discuss ways to improve your employee retention polices.

Ways to improve employee retention include benefits adjustments, getting employee expectations in order, promoting the right people, removing underperforming team members, ensuring competitive rates for your industry, organizing summer Fridays (inexpensive perks), investing in professional development for employees and creating monthly outings for team building. 

Our list of some of the best ways to retain employees

1. Benefits adjustments

Top benefits don’t always come in the form of a promotion, 401k or raises, and I’m not talking about healthcare.

Possible Ideas

  • Ability to work from home
  • Paid family leave
  • Half day Fridays
  • Flexible PTO
  • Gym membership
  • Office stocked with snacks and drinks

2. Get those expectations in order

Employees want clear standards, goals and direction, this reduces confusion and heightens productivity. Make sure you are using their skills to their maximum advantage.

Set achievable expectations or face eventual turnover.

3. Promote the Right People

Simply promoting someone based on seniority, or worse promoting your friends, is an ineffective way to build a team and shows disrespect to your top talent.

Often times turnovers happen due to weak leadership teams, talented engineers look for leaders they can respect and look up to.

Promote the people that lead by example, work hard, make valuable contributions, and demonstrate leadership potential by inspiring those they work with to do their best.

4. Remove underperforming team members

Some times the best way to retain employees is to terminate the bad apple. No one wants to work with the person that is barely doing enough to get by, and keeping underperformers on staff will walk the real talent out the door.

Poor performance isn’t the only productivity loser on the team, the negative talkers, gossipers and bad managers will do just as much damage.

Cut the toxic people holding your team back and watch them go!

5. Ensure competitive pay rates for your industry

Have you conducted a recent market study to compare against your current salary ranges ? How do they line up? At the end of the day employees want to feel appreciated and money is an important piece of the equation.

Your engineers know their worth and if you are underpaying them, they will reach out to engineering staffing agencies and search for other companies that will pay them their value.

Don’t forget about performance based raises for key engineering players; show them that you appreciate their efforts.

6. Organize Summer Fridays (inexpensive perks)

Open to non traditional perks? Ever heard of Summer Fridays ?

Summer Fridays are a type of flexible scheduling where employees can leave early on Fridays or take the whole day off. You could for instance have four (9) hour work days and a one (4) hour (half day) Friday.

Some of the best ways to retain employees don’t involve money and may give you an edge when looking to attract or retain top technical talent.

7. Invest in professional development 

Many types of IT & engineering talent are hard to retain even in a down market.

Investing in a employees professional development is sound piece of the puzzle when developing an overall employee retention strategy. This could be in the form of workshops, learning conferences or employer paid online courses.

If you don’t offer learning opportunities and ways to grow, your employee may seek out employers who do.

8. Create monthly outings for team building

Some ideas include:

  • Volunteering
  • Cook-offs
  • Office trivia
  • Karaoke Nights
  • Sports activities such as bowling, golf or go-cart racing
  • Escape rooms
  • Hiking

Looking for ways to add top engineering or IT talent to your team ? Reach out to Apollo Technical

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