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keeping employees happy

How to Retain the Best Staff Members

In the contemporaneous business climate, economic agents no longer compete just for customers, but also for the most skilled staff members. This feature is common ever since the literature, and then the practitioners, recognized the staff members as the most important organizational asset. While this realization is applicable within all economic entities, its importance is even more so increased within companies that only offer services and their numbers are increasing; within the United States for instance, 76.8 per cent of the entire labor force is employed within the services sector (Central Intelligence Agency, 2009). In this context then, it becomes obvious that organizational leaders develop and implement strategies aimed at reducing the employee turnover rates. The underlying idea behind increased retention rates is that of achieving high levels of employee on-the-job satisfaction. Below are some ideas as to how this could be achieved.

Financial incentives
The primary element which will draw a prospective candidate to a job, and retain him there, is the salary package with which he is being presented. In this order of ideas then, it is required for the manager to present the candidates with a competitive wage. If the company's resources allow it, it would even be advisable for the wage to be over the mean value of the salaries offered by the industry. Such an endeavor would ensure that the loyalty of the employee is enhanced.

Aside the salary however, the employer could increase the employee's on-the-job satisfaction by presenting him with premiums and bonuses. In terms of premiums, these ought to be offered once or twice a year, on special occasions. The first premium could be offered during the summer months, as a vacation premium, whereas the second could be offered during winter months, as Christmas premium. The general idea is that these premiums are offered to all staff members. Then, there are the bonuses, which should be offered based on competencies and performances achieved. These would only be offered to the staff members who registered significant performances, and they would ensure that the employees feel that their efforts are being rewarded (it is also important here to weigh the actual efforts, rather than the results alone).

Non-financial incentives
Aside money however, employees are motivated and retained through several non-financial incentives. Some examples include the following:
  • Flexi-time or flexible working schedules. It is implied that such a compromise cannot be made for all staff members, but only for those occupying positions which allow flexible schedules; the cleaning lady at a trading company on Wall Street will for instance be eligible for flexi-time, but a trading broker will not
  • Medical insurance most employers now strive to reduce costs and in this endeavor, they offer minimal medical coverage (Wal-Mart like). In this context, a company that offers a comprehensive medical coverage package for the employee, or even one that includes his spouse and children, stands increased chances of retaining its staff members.
  • Work-place ambiance it is also necessary to present the employees with a welcoming, friendly, yet dynamic and challenging workplace. It is compulsory to send messages of acceptance and embracement of cultural and otherwise diversity. All efforts should be integrated in the creation of a strong organizational culture.

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