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Employee Retention Tips

For many employers, the issue of employee retention does not become top of mind until the unthinkable happens: a highly valued and trusted employee resigns. Sadly, by the time this takes place, your ability to keep the employee long-term is minimal. That’s why I encourage all of my clients to take some time each month to think about and invest in employee retention. The following are techniques I have seen employers use effectively to increase employee satisfaction and retention:

  • Promote creativity: Most employees know your business well and have great ideas for improvement. But, unless your culture makes it clear what to do with these ideas, they rarely get shared. Ask your employees for their input on creative solutions to business problems and issues, and reward those who engage and share.
  • Get Goal Oriented: Sometimes employees feel “stuck” in their position because their focus is only on their daily assignments. Work with employees to set goals in areas like skill building or productivity. This helps your company get more from employees – and helps employees feel like they are working toward something important.
  • Consider Collaboration: Often times employees become discontent because they feel isolated in the organization. Take a look at jobs and tasks and explore ways to have employees work with a partner or within a team. Increased contact with colleagues leads to improved performance and satisfaction – and that equals retention.
  • Shake Things Up: Repetition breeds boredom. New responsibilities can help employees feel challenged and valued. Helping employees learn new skills can add depth to your work group.
  • Provide Challenge: If you were placed in an unchallenging and monotonous environment, chances are you wouldn’t feel engaged and interested in remaining in the job. Look at ways to provide a challenging and dynamic work environment where improved performance is recognized and rewarded.
  • Listen Up! Employees are more likely to stick around if they feel they’re being heard. Take a look at how feedback is handled in your business. Are comments and suggestions met with respect? Employees want to feel that they and their views are respected.

There is no single idea or tactic that will ensure that your employees will remain as long as you would like. However, you can avoid the disruption and expense of unexpected departures through an ongoing focus on retention.

Employee Retention Tips

Evaluating An Employment Offer

After a long and difficult hunt, you’ve finally received an employment offer. Congratulations! Any job offer represents a very important decision for both you and the employer. When you receive an offer, there are many factors to consider in your decision-making process. While there are hundreds of questions you can ask a potential employer, two of the most important categories to cover are: compensation and benefits.

It’s About More Than Salary

Most job candidates focus on their primary compensation question: What is the base starting salary? But there are several other questions you need to ask in order to get a complete picture of the monetary package being offered. Critical questions include:

  • Is there a signing bonus?
  • Is there an annual bonus? How are bonuses determined: individual or team performance?
  • If your bonus will be performance based, is it based on your individual performance, that of your team, or that of your organization?
  • Will you have access to any kind of profit sharing or stock options?
  • Do they offer a retirement plan? If yes, does the employer make contributions?
  • When will you be eligible for a salary review?
  • What have the increases in salary been historically for this position?

The future employer’s willingness to discuss these questions, and the information that they provide, will offer you great insights into both the starting and future salary for the position.

Benefits Beyond Health Insurance

With all of the current attention on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, most job candidates know to ask for information on health insurance. However, employment benefits can extend beyond just health insurance and it is important to know exactly what a future employer has to offer before considering a position. When asking about benefits, job candidates should ask:

  • Does the company offer health insurance? How much money will you be expected to pay per month towards your health plan?
  • Does the organization offer disability insurance? Life insurance?
  • Does the organization offer mortgage assistance?
  • How many days of vacation do employees receive per year? Sick days? Personal days? Can paid time off be accrued or does the employer have a “use it or lose it” policy?
  • What are their policies regarding unpaid leave?
  • Are there money-saving amenities offered on site, such as child care, discounted dry cleaning or athletic facilities?
  • If the job requires long or unusual hours, do they have any kind of monetary allowance for meals or travel?

Getting the answers to these questions will help you to make a decision on whether to accept the position based upon the entire compensation plan including salary, fringe benefits, and additional perks that may be offered. That way, you're accepting, or rejecting, the job based on overall compensation rather than just one facet of it.

The possibility of starting a new position can be exciting. It is important for you to not let you enthusiasm get in the way of getting clear, complete, and accurate information on your job offer. Taking the time to get and analyze information on your job offer will help you avoid unexpected costs or benefit issues when it might be too late to do anything about it.

Evaluating An Employment Offer

Holiday Hiring Trends

During November and December 2014, holiday consumer sales are expected to top $602.1 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. This is a 3.9 percent increase over last year. But do more holiday sales mean more holiday jobs?

Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicates that October 2013, saw the best holiday hiring numbers in 14 years. The 159,500 net new jobs in retail in October is a 6.7 percent increase from last year. And, November numbers are expected to be stronger.

According to a CareerBuilder survey, 39 percent of retailers plan to hire holiday help this year, up from 36 percent last year. In addition, employers in information technology (18%), leisure and hospitality (16%) and financial services (16%) plan to hire seasonal staff. And, more than half of employers, 51 percent, plan to pay $10 or more per hour.

Forbes reports that the top job titles companies will be recruiting during the 2014 holiday season include:

  • Customer Service – 33 percent
  • Shipping/Delivery – 18 percent
  • Inventory Management – 17 percent
  • Administrative/Clerical – 15 percent
  • Sales (non-retail) – 12 percent
  • Marketing – 9 percent
  • Accounting/Finance – 6 percent


While the number of available position is promising, candidates will still face stiff competition. It is important that candidates treat the application process for a holiday position as seriously as the hunt for a full-time, permanent position. That includes wearing appropriate attire to the interview and following up with a thank-you note or e-mail.

Candidates should also come to the interview well prepared. According to the CareerBuilder survey, 33 percent of employers tend to dismiss candidates who know nothing about their company or products. To prepare, review the company’s Web site and become familiar with their products and service values. If you are a regular customer of their product and service be sure to mention it.

Perhaps most importantly, candidates should be flexible when it comes to their work schedule. Companies hire seasonal employees who can work hours when their full-time staff cannot – often on weekends or at night. The more willing you are to take these undesirable shifts, the better your chances are of getting hired.

Pursuing a seasonal job can be more than a great way to make a little extra cash. In 2012, one major retail department store offered more than a third of its seasonal employees full-time positions, and a national toy store chain turned 15 percent of holiday hires into permanent positions according to the Better Business Bureau. So, get out there and take advantage of the opportunities available this season. You could find yourself with a full-time job in the future!

If getting an interview is your goal, then writing a strong, factual, detailed and error free resume is your best tool for success.

Holiday Hiring Trends