4 Tips for Employee Retention

1.  Empowerment

A happy employee is one that is empowered to use their own unique talents and methods to perform their job.  Micro management has, in recent years, gotten a bad reputation because it has been shown to stifle this sense of empowerment, innovation, and flexibility.  Set clear goals and objectives, then let individual creativity flourish.  When a corporate culture gets bogged down in defining the minutia of steps involved in processes, they send a message that there is a fundamental lack of trust and there is no room for mistakes.  Instead, a culture that diminished the focus on mistakes and celebrates the learning process through unique methods will prove more effective, empowering, and ultimately will lead to greater productivity within the workforce.

2. Career Development & Promotion Opportunities

While not all employees are seeking upward movement, many have desire to challenge themselves to attain higher levels of responsibility or stature in the company.  Taking time to understand each employees aspirations is a blueprint for getting into the individual mechanisms for motivation.  Rather than casual conversations with management, a formal career development plan should be put in place.  It is imperative that promises are not made that cannot be fulfilled or a career development plan can have the reverse effect and make an employee feel as if they are being placated and strung along with a carrot and stick approach.  Employees who feel that there are clearly defined steps toward their career goals will be more motivated and less likely to turn to other companies for their promotions and opportunities.

3.  Keep it Fun

Why are employers like Google so highly regarded?  It is the work environment they have created and the reputation for an energized, fun, and cutting edge workplace.  Google has been known to have employee retreats where topics such as work/life balance, tapping into the creative business mind, and other such workshops are available.  Even seemingly small considerations such as Friday afternoon socials, decorations, and such can add to a feeling of more comfortable work environment.

4.  An Effective Compensation Strategy

Many companies have been moving into compensation plans that include lower base salaries with higher variable performance based incentives.  When these types of compensation plans are carefully constructed, they can help employees feel more empowered to increase their compensations with greater effort and personal strategy.  Be sure to combine individual based components with team based incentives.  Because base salaries are highly symbolic for employees, it is important not to forget about the psychological charge of continuing a fair merit based program for increasing base salaries.

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