Increase Your Employee Retention without Spending a Dime

In today’s economy, coming up with funding for new programs or anything other than the bare essentials is nearly impossible. However, it is possible to increase your employee retention without spending a dime. All it will cost you is a little brain power.

Almost everyone is feeling the pressure, stress and increased anxiety as the economy takes baby steps towards recovery – owners, managers, and spouses – even the stock market is jittery. As your employees are inundated with negative news, it is important to recognize the pressure they are under. If you simply stick with the attitude: “they should be happy they have a job” you might just end up with lower productivity and a mass exodus as the economy improves and new jobs become available.

You must also be careful that the timing of your actions is in sync with the employees and keeps their feeling in mind. For example, a simple redistribution of salary dollars can cause a negative ripple effect. If you make a strategic move, like hiring more sales people to show you are committed to improving revenues, but have recently laid off other employees, the negativity that is created with the remaining staff can completely negate any positive impact.

So, what can you do to increase short term morale and long term retention without spending money?

* Offer new or extra incentives for measurable increases in productivity, revenue or in cost savings. A simple move like this can potentially get your team to stop thinking negatively and to focus on creativity and competition. Competition makes us all better at what we do. Although there is a possible payout, increased revenue and/or decreased spending will offset this expense.

* Take time to meet with your staff weekly. Take a few minutes to sit with your staff with no particular agenda. Let them share ideas, vent or talk about their kids. You will be surprised at what this will do for their morale and what you might learn about them that will help you head off problems in your company or department.

* Allow more flex-time with your employees work schedules. The total hours your employees work will be the same, but some flexibility may allow for increased production overall.

* Consider an upgrade in title. Chances are in the last 12 to 18 months you have increased your employees’ workload and they have seen no pay increase. So, make them feel good about themselves and that you recognize the value of their contributions by upgrading titles to Manager, Senior Manager, or Director.

Small changes like those listed about will likely pay you back many times over. Let me know what decide to do in your firm.

David Lammert

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