The average cost to replace someone in a skilled role is higher than you’d think. New research indicates that it costs more than 2x’s one year’s salary to replace a departing employee in the same role. With research also indicating that 50 to 70% of employees are open to leaving or are actively looking for a new job, a leadership team that doesn’t regularly think about retention is opening itself up to risk. What should you be doing to combat this issue? Here are 4 tips to help you retain your top people:
1. Tell them how valuable they are to you—and why.
Words of affirmation are a powerful thing. When you show gratitude and appreciation two things usually happen: employees gain renewed momentum to tackle tough projects and they gain confidence in their role. Specific compliments are best, so telling someone, “I really value your ability to problem solve and communicate effectively with our clients,” carries more weight than saying, “I really value you as a member of this team.”
2. Ask about their stressors and pain points.
Stress is a top reason people leave jobs; they feel overwhelmed and no one notices. So ask, “what are you finding stressful and how can I help?” When you understand what triggers stress in your top performers, you can address topics or projects that are likely to worry them. Then you can discuss ways you can help and other solutions to reduce the impact of that stress.
3. Know what motivates your people and have regular conversations about it.
What drives each member of your team personally and professionally? Motivation needs to be re-addressed as time goes by because it will change as people enter different phases of life. Getting your best employees to stick around involves understanding what matters most to them—from paychecks to future promotions, to work/life balance. This will look different for each person you manage.
4. Reaffirm job stability when you can.
As someone who interviews a LOT of people, I can say from experience that instability is a textbook response when I ask someone why they’re looking to leave their current job. Whether you’ve lost a big client, fallen short on your fiscal goals, gone through a round of layoffs, or lost a bid for a job—employees are hyper-sensitive to things like this and they will worry. Don’t assume that people know that a loss or a change will not affect them. You have to tell them.
Want more ideas or need help addressing a specific aspect of managing your people? Ask us your HR questions via the online chat tool in the lower left corner of your screen. We’d love to talk to you!