Slideshow The top 8 ways to retain your employees

  • July 19 2016, 11:58am EDT
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The 8 best ways to retain your employees

Keeping employees on the job continues to be a struggle for many companies; 47% report that they have had to replace more than 20% of their workforce during the past 12 months, according to recruitment agency Spherion Staffing. So what’s an employer to do? For starters, it helps to know what makes a job appealing to an employee. Here are their top 8 considerations, according to workers surveyed by Spherion.

1. Financial compensation

Employees are increasingly demanding demand higher salaries from their current employer or seeking them elsewhere, according to Spherion’s 2016 Emerging Workforce Study. More than half (51%) feel the expanding job market gives them more power to negotiate a higher salary, either with their current company or with another.

“It’s clear that workers have money on their mind above all else and may consider drastic moves to achieve this financial boost,” says Sandy Mazur, Spherion division president. That means that “companies will soon begin to feel — if they haven’t already — pressure to increase compensation at the risk of losing top workers.”

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2. Benefits

Don’t underestimate the power of employee benefits; employees continually say they are important. But Mazur offers a caveat: “While it is necessary to keep tabs on what their competitors offer and what their employees want, it’s more important for a company to determine what benefits it can reasonably deliver, rather than making rash moves simply to keep up with the rest of the industry,” she says.

3. Growth and earnings potential

Stagnant careers do not make for happy employees. They are looking for growth — and will look for it elsewhere if their employer doesn’t provide them with new opportunities. As a result, Spherion predicts that more than one-out-of-four (26%) are liable to look for a new job during the next 12 months. That’s up from 18% last year.

4. Time and flexibility

Spherion also points to flexible job scheduling as something that employees care about deeply. “Schedule flexibility options that allow workers to balance their responsibilities against their busy out-of-office schedules can offset potential frustration,” Mazur says. “Additionally, many companies offer workers paid time off for days to give back to the community, with group service projects also serving as a chance to build team camaraderie.”

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5. Workplace culture and environment

An attractive working environment hasn’t always been thought of as an important job perk, but recently it’s been getting more attention as a key factor in attracting and retaining employees. But while workplace culture and employee engagement ranked as the No. 1 trend in Deloitte University Press’ 2015 Global Human Capital Trends report, only 12% of executives believe their companies are promoting the right culture. Worse, according to Deloitte, more than two out of three of those execs admitted they don’t even understand their organization’s culture.

6. Management’s attitude

Hand in hand with a workplace’s culture, employees also say the attitude of their managers is an important reason why they might stay on a job or to look for a new one. Indications are employers may need to step up their game. According to Spherion, 24% of workers say their employers are putting in less effort to retain them, and only 15% say they are putting in more effort.

7. Supervisor relationships

Employers told Spherion that they thought a good relationship with a supervisor was their most valuable employee retention tool. Their employees, however, didn’t quite see it that way, ranking the six above factors ahead of good relations with their bosses.

Despite the disconnect, their relationship to their supervisor is still very important for many young workers. According to the Staples Advantage Workplace Index, more than half of millennials say they are motivated by their supervisors, and 28% say that feeling appreciated contributes to their loyalty.

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8. Training and development

When it comes to employee satisfaction, a little career development can go a long way, and employers seem to recognize this. Research by the Korn Ferry Hay Group found that companies are putting greater emphasis on career development than other employee rewards, benefits and bonuses. More than half of the 242 employer respondents polled by the consulting group said they intend to expand the use of career development programs across all employee levels.