Every month millions of Americans quit their job in search of something better. Thirty-one percent of employees quit before making it to 6 months of employment! By some estimates, it can cost an employer double an employee’s salary to replace them when they quit, especially if that employee has worked with you for years and has a unique role in your company.

Consider the employees you have working for you who are dedicated, high performers, and have specific skills that your business relies on. The thought of them leaving may terrify you.

How do you win the employee retention battle? To keep your employees working for you, consider trying these employee retention strategies:

Salary And Benefits Must Be Competitive
One common reason for an employee choosing to leave a company is because they don’t feel like their value is appropriately compensated. Compensation isn’t equal to base salary alone. Benefits are also a huge part of a compensation package and can be a great way to make up for a slightly less competitive salary. Employees value health insurance, 401K matches, cell phone stipends, and memberships to health clubs and will often include it as a part of their whole compensation package. If you have a very competitive overall compensation package, make sure your employees know its value.

Hire The Right Person At The Start
Choosing the right candidate for the position in the first place is crucial. Remember, hire slow, fire quickly, with good documentation of course. If an employee isn’t a good fit for their role, they will likely end up leaving the company, regardless of the other retention strategies that are in place. Focus on the hiring process by creating a job description that clearly describes the expected qualifications, skills, and experience of the position. Effective interviewing and selection are especially important at the management/leadership level. Lower-level employees are more likely to leave an organization when they do not trust and respect their immediate boss or the leadership team overall.

Have Leaders, Not Bosses
Few people are really good leaders, but many want to be the boss. Remember that people follow leaders, while they abandon bosses. Having effective leaders in your organization plays directly into retention and employee engagement. An investment in training and developing your leaders has huge payoffs in the long run for your company.

Equip Your Managers to be Leaders
People leave managers not companies. Ever ask people about the jobs they hate and the reasons they left? Chances are high that one of the first things you’ll hear is griping about a manager or boss, not the products, the customers, or other co-workers. As you are training your managers on technical or business issues it’s in your best interest to also train them in the areas of encouraging and motivating different types of people, how to handle conflict management, stress management, and crisis management.

Focus on Employee Engagement
As an employer, it is important to take time to understand what motivates people to want to become fully engaged with the work they do vs. what makes them merely punch in at the time clock until something better comes along. To motivate people to be engaged at work it is important to build a strong work culture that shows they are valued and appreciated, offers valuable learning opportunities, makes advancement possible, gives opportunities for concrete success, includes opportunities for feedback and sharing, and creates an atmosphere of respect and trust.

Be A Brand They Can Be Proud Of
While every business has to evaluate where their wages and benefits sit in comparison to regional and industry standards, those direct dollar concerns aren’t the only way to retain your employees. Being a business that is community-minded and actively shows involvement and support for positive causes will be considered as a benefit by today’s employees. Having a brand that employees want to work for is huge in today’s workforce.

Value a work/life balance
Employees who feel like the demands of their job are affecting their personal lives are more likely to find alternative employment. Giving employees the chance to work from home occasionally and being less rigid with work hours can improve employee satisfaction rates. Discourage management from calling or emailing employees with requests on evenings, weekends, or during an employee’s vacation time. Regularly evaluate the expected responsibilities of each employee and consider how they are managing that workload. Many companies are re-thinking how and where employees work to attract and retain employees.