One might be considered blind if you didn’t recognise the importance of ensuring that ‘turn over’ of staff remains at a minimum. The cost of losing a staff person is high, when one considers; recruiting expenses, training costs and reduced productivity.

Solutions to this dilemma vary, depending on who listen to and what you’re reading. Some say that improved benefits – including health and holiday packages – along with compensation are the most effective tools when attempting to keep your staff. Others say that better career development plans, including training programmes, study subsidies and clearly defined advancement paths are the answer.
Work done by Development Dimensions International this year surveyed the most important values to employees in over 200 companies in the US.
* the ability to balance work and outside life;
* the meaningfulness of work;
* trust among employees; and
* the employees’ relationships with their supervisors or managers.
These were the top 4 with more money only coming in at number 5.
Today, a widely accepted rule of thumb is that replacing a defecting employee costs about half of his or her annual compensation.
But an article published in the April Harvard Management Update concludes that the costs are much higher. The Harvard Business School publication says direct costs-recruiting, interviewing, training, etc.-are the tip of the iceberg. When indirect costs-including the effects on workload, employee morale and customer satisfaction-and “opportunity costs,” such as loss of intellectual capital, are factored in, replacing an employee is likely to cost twice the departee’s annual salary.
Here are some retention findings and recommendations from consulting firms, associations, academics and others familiar with the problem:
* Allow employees to develop additional job skills.
* Make work meaningful and challenging.
* Actively work to improve employee morale by, among other things, holding managers accountable for treating employees with respect.
* Pay competitive wages, but don’t overdo it.
* Reward your employees for their performances and efforts.
* Hire carefully, so that the people who come on board are a good fit for your organization.
* Beef up your benefits, particularly retirement plans and health insurance.
* Head off potential problems at the pass by encouraging open communication

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