Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Employee Retention: It’s about Much More than Money

Want to keep your best employees? Keep them happy.

First, of course, that means offering a competitive salary and benefits. But there’s another, equally critical factor: the work environment. You must recognize and encourage the vital contributions employees make by creating a place they enjoy coming to every workday.

It’s simple, really. Employees who feel appreciated produce more and higher quality work, which leads to more satisfied customers.

We like to think we know a little something about this, and it seems others think we do, too. Next month, Scheibel Halaska will be recognized as a Top Milwaukee Workplace by The Business Journal Serving Greater Milwaukee.

The winning companies have demonstrated a commitment to fostering an exceptional work environment, promoting a positive work/life balance, providing comprehensive benefits and supporting professional development opportunities for their employees.

A few ways you can follow suit:

1. Allow a flexible work schedule. Accommodate the occasional need to work from home or attend medical appointments without repercussions. When employees know their families are taken care of, they can focus on their work without worrying about the family.

2. Organize fun, team-building events. Poker tournaments, tailgating and a ballgame, a boat trip on the water, an afternoon at a restaurant. These events help rejuvenate employees and show them they’re valued, while strengthening relationships among co-workers.

3. Consider more than the typical benefits. Benefits packages shouldn’t stop with the norm—medical, dental and vision coverage, as well as a 401(k). Examples of enhanced benefits include flexible spending accounts, maternity and paternity leave, employee stock options, profit sharing and personal time off (PTO).

Be creative, and do what suits your people. They’ll notice the effort, and they’re a lot more likely to stick around.

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