Finding good employees to help you run your business and take care of your customers is tough!
COVID lockdowns a couple of years ago took a lot of quality workers out of the marketplace. Many of them switched jobs, found ways to work from home, or just dropped out altogether to collect stimulus payments.
When you get a great employee, they’re more valuable now than ever! So this post is all about creative ways to retain employees to avoid the pain of being short-handed and having to hire over and over.
What Is Employee Retention?
Employee retention is the ability of an organization to avoid employee turnover. By keeping workers motivated enough to continue working for you, you keep from having to deal with productivity loss, lowered morale, and the stress of needing to fill vacant positions.
Netsuite reports on a 2020 Retention Report from The Work Institute that “More than 42 million U.S. workers left their jobs voluntarily in 2019. If that trend continues, more than one in three employees will voluntarily leave their positions by 2023.”
Why Employee Retention Is Important
Losing employees directly affects your bottom line. When your company’s ability to efficiently provide your particular goods or services is limited by being short-staffed, it doesn’t take long for the rest of your team (and your customers) to notice.
As we already pointed out in an earlier post, “[insert and link to final title of 8/10 post],”, replacing employees is also expensive. According to Gallup, it costs U.S. companies more than $1 trillion to replace all the employees who choose to leave their jobs every year!
Why Is It Important To Keep Employees Motivated?
Well-motivated employees can make your company an incredible success in your industry. Business.com lists several great benefits of highly motivated employees:
1. It increases employee engagement.
Employees with high job satisfaction are more likely to be focused on work when they’re at work. Just because someone is physically in your building doesn’t mean that beneficial work is being done. Happy workers are more focused.
2. It results in higher levels of performance.
When your team is satisfied, motivated, and more focused on their work, it naturally follows that their level of performance (the quality of their work) will improve. The end result will be that what they deliver to your customers will be better.
3. It improves creativity and innovation.
Regardless of the type of industry you are in, it’s probably safe to say that what worked well just a few years ago isn’t good enough anymore. In our world of accounting, adding machines (first created in the late 1880s!) used to be the go-to tool of the trade. Today, if a CPA firm isn’t using powerful accounting software to track and manage their client’s financial reports…they’re in trouble!
When your team feels valued, with a real connection to the mission and purpose of your company, you’ll be amazed at how creative and innovative they can be.
4. It makes for better relationships.
The relationship between management and regular workers has always naturally been a little strained. There have been plenty of times in history when the people in charge (management) have been less than fair with those under them (workers).
Trade unions were founded in the late 1700s to help fight for better wages, better working conditions, and reasonable hours. While plenty of unions still exist today for the same reasons, a good manager can keep from having employees want such representation if they work to maintain good relationships.
By simply following the “Golden Rule” of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” business leaders can build relationships with their teams that last a very long time.
5. It serves your customers better.
Happy employees simply take better care of your customers. Making an intentional effort to maintain high employee motivation within your company will only boost the overall success of your business as they, in turn, deliver outstanding service.
6. It improves your company culture.
People will actually enjoy and look forward to coming to work when they know they’re working in a place where they’re valued and they’re making a difference.
7. It builds your brand’s reputation.
Word spreads quickly…whether it’s good or bad. If your employees love working for you, you better believe they’ll talk about it. As they become brand ambassadors, your company’s reputation will grow.
8. It dramatically lowers employee turnover.
Simply put, happy employees stay longer. Give them reasons to stay and they won’t want to leave!
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What Keeps Employees Happy?
Abraham Lincoln famously said, “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” Keeping employees happy used to be as easy as providing a decent salary and basic benefits. Today, that’s just considered the expected norm. So here are some creative ways to keep employees happy.
Creative Ways to Retain Employees
Career expert Ken Coleman just recently did a segment on his radio/YouTube show where he revealed 5 benefits every employee should have (but few do). It’s worth watching if you’re a business owner looking for creative ways to retain employees. Here’s a quick summary, though:
1. Mental & Physical Health Reimbursements.
When expenses pile up because of an extreme health event (or even a lingering, chronic one), employees can quickly find themselves hurting financially…even with insurance coverage. Or when a mental/emotional crisis is impacting their life (or another family member), that can take a toll on their ability to perform well at work. Providing funds to help pay for health-related expenses (physical therapy, counseling, etc.) can go a long way to make employees feel valued.
2. Free or generously discounted access to products or services your company provides.
They work hard to make what you create happen, so give them a deeper sense of ownership (and say thank you) by allowing them to use those goods or services either for free or a deep discount.
3. Opportunities to grow professionally.
Let them know that you are interested in their personal and professional growth by paying for books, certifications, training, and degrees related to their field (or one they’d like to move into). Send them to conferences and retreats that help them improve their marriages and family life. As Ken says, for example, “If they’re winning in their marriage, they’re going to be winning more at work!”
4. Identity Theft Insurance
It’s a real threat to everyone, and protecting your employees with identity theft insurance isn’t all that expensive. Each time they receive a monthly notification that their personal and financial information is secure, they’ll think of you and be grateful.
5. Financial Wellness Programs
Helping your team learn to live on a budget and manage their personal finances better means that they get to keep more of their money! It’s basically a raise they give themselves…and you get the thanks for it! Just like with family relationships, when they have peace in their finances they bring better versions of themselves to work.
Your Guide on The Journey to Keeping Employees Happy
For more than 40 years, we’ve been helping our clients “expect more from your CPA.” You deserve to work with a firm that can help your business grow and succeed. One way we do that is with Payroll & HR Support.
Discover more about how to design benefits packages and work environments that help you retain happy, motivated employees for a long time to come. Schedule a call today!