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With today’s unemployment rate at an all-time low, it is hard enough to fill a job opening with a great candidate, but keeping those great people at your organization might be proving to be even more difficult. According to the work institute’s 2018 Retention Report, U.S. organizations spent $600 billion on turnover last year. Equally (or more?) damaging and not captured in these costs – the knowledge, expertise, experience, and ideas someone takes with them out the door. So, what can you do to improve your retention? Here are four suggestions, all of which will cost you less than losing your best employee.

Carve out time for learning

According to Gallup, “opportunities for unlimited development” is among the top three things employees are looking for in a job. Whether it is self-directed or company-wide (we at Purple Ink recommend a combination of both), when employees are given time to develop themselves, it can reduce stress and make workers happier, as well as provide confidence in job future and a sense of purpose and direction.

Have “stay conversations”

Stay conversations are short discussions between a leader and direct report, with the sole purpose of learning more about the employee. What is important to her in the workplace? What are his interests? What are her aspirations? These conversations make employees feel more appreciated, and also provide valuable insight to the manager regarding what will engage and retain the employee.

Assess your sustainability practices

The results of the HP Workforce Sustainability Survey revealed that 40% of respondents would look to change jobs if their company did not implement sustainable business practices. Promoting sustainability can start as small as Reduce, Reuse, Recycle in the breakroom, and become as significant as supporting only local vendors. If you are already a leader in sustainability, awesome! Your workers are likely feeling happier, safer, more cared for, and more productive, so they’ll probably stick around!

Encourage well-being

In their study on well-being, Gallup reported that there is a 48% greater likelihood that people with low engagement and well-being will leave your company. While health promotion and wellness programs are on the rise in organizations, with almost half of all workplaces in the nation offering supporting initiatives, these must go beyond a 10,000 step challenge. Gallup’s comprehensive study revealed five categories of “well-being” that differentiate thriving from not – Career, Social, Financial, Physical, Community. Do your wellness programs address all of these? As you consider making changes, be sure to get the managers on board as leaders of the initiative, as they are your organization’s biggest influencers of wellbeing and engagement.

If you’ve spent the time and energy to recruit the best, spend the time and energy to keep them; it will be well worth your (by comparison very small) cost.

If you need help recruiting the best or retaining them once you’ve hired them, reach out to Purple Ink! We’d be happy to assist you in creating a strategy, and can even take over the execution of the plan to save you time and energy.

Caitlin Alerding
Caitlin Alerding
Caitlin is the Manager of Training Services at Purple Ink. She is also a CliftonStrengths specialist and serves as a CliftonStrengths coach. Caitlin is passionate about discovering and helping to implement the mechanisms necessary for a team to achieve their goal or an individual to thrive in their position.

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