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5 ways to keep good people as the job market improves

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Management Training

Issue: Retaining the best employees should be a high priority for your organization as the economy picks up.

Benefits: Reduces recruitment and retraining costs; improves productivity.

Action: Urge upper management to devise a retention plan to keep top performers on board.

As the job market improves, your organization's best people may be tempted to jump ship for better opportunities. Since the loss of a competent employee usually costs the equivalent of a year's pay and benefits, focusing on retention now can yield bottom-line benefits.

Approach your top brass with a written plan to retain your best employees. Some strategies to consider:

1. Help staff plan a career path. Encourage managers to let employees know how they fit into the organization's plans and goals.

2. Encourage feedback. Keep tabs on employee feelings about working conditions, benefits, compensation and career-development opportunities by conducting regular surveys. Don't wait for the exit interview.

3. Evaluate your organization's compensation plan. Make sure it's fair and compares favorably to the marketplace. Use compensation Web sites such as www.salary.com and www.bls.gov/ncs to see if your salaries are in the right ballpark.

4. Explore vacation-time changes. Twenty-five percent of those polled by Sibson Consulting recently said they would switch jobs for an extra seven days of vacation, and half would do so for 10 extra vacation days.

One option: Switch to a paid-time-off plan, which gives employees one lump sum of days they can use for either vacation or sick leave.

5. Remind managers of turnover costs, and recognize those with strong retention track records. Let them know you're available to help if they see early warning signs of employee unhappiness.

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