By Sandy Cody

It’s good news that the unemployment rate in the U.S. has dropped to 4.1 percent, but that low rate can make it challenging to hire good people. The answer is to make a concerted effort to retain your best employees.

That’s a good idea for a number of reasons. Retaining talent saves you time and money in recruiting and training new hires. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the average cost per hire is $4,129 and takes an average of 42 days to fill.

Another study by Employee Benefit News found that the average cost to hire a new employee is a steep 33 percent of that worker’s annual salary. So, for example, the replacement cost is $15,000 for a worker making $45,000 a year.

5 Ways to Chase Away Your Best

Recently an online article by Forbes contributor Michael Wood titled “How to Chase Away Your Best Employees” caught my eye. Have you experienced or observed any of the practices mentioned in the article?

  1. Tolerating below-average work. Do you treat accept the less-than-acceptable work from some employees while not recognizing your high-performers for their great work?
  1. Sticking good employees in dead-end jobs. Instead, work with them to develop a clear path to advancement.
  1. Engaging in discriminatory work practices. Do you treat all employees fairly across the board? For example, are you paying women or minorities less for equal or better work and responsibilities?
  1. Creating a boring, unchallenging work environment. Your best and brightest will want to be challenged and inspired. Ask them if there’s anything you can do to help them feel more challenged.
  1. Having too many restrictions. Rules are important in any workplace but are they all necessary? Do some policies and practices stifle freedom and creativity and keep employees from excelling?

Intention + Attention = Retention

Creating and maintaining a workplace that helps your employees grow is possible. Like many of the important things in life, it requires intention and attention.

In one of Draker Cody Inc.’s most successful retention projects, we redesigned a client’s recruitment and retention procedures to reduce turnover from 65-75 percent to 5-7 percent. Our work included providing interview skills training and a formal employee retention program.

Are you doing everything you can to hire and retain the best employees? Let us know if we can help.

Sandy CodySandy Cody, president of Draker Cody Inc., has more than 30 years of management and human resources experience.