3 Things You Need to Know if You Want to Attract and Retain Your Employees

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By: Ben DeVries, Client Advisor

You need a competitive advantage in a world of ever-increasing competition for talent.

Traditional thinking says you need to beef up your pay, increase benefits, create flex-time policies and, you know what, let's throw in a ping-pong table while we're at it.

Good, you've now increased your staffing budget.

Now what? Now your competition lures your people away because they've started offering a slightly better package than you. They've upped their 401k match.

Simple enough, you up your 401k match and create unlimited vacation.

They up their 401k match, create unlimited vacation and decide they're a pet-friendly workplace. You have three employees who are allergic to dogs.

How do you escape the never-ending arms race for talent?

The differentiator between you and your competition needs to be taken off the offer letter and needs to live in the world of environment and culture. Good company culture is difficult to measure, but its benefits are enormous. Here's what you need to know:

ROI of employee engagement

Harvard Business Review published a study showing the firms with high employee satisfaction outperform their peers by 2.3% to 3.8% per year [per year] in long-run stock returns. [Source: Harvard Business Review]

Soft-touch managers are key to retention

93% of millennials hopped from one company to the next in their most recent role change. Mostly because they didn't feel comfortable approaching their manager about wanting more responsibility. Whether that's how it should be or not, that's how it is. And you can't control how the workforce reacts, you can only control your style of leadership and the style of leadership you encourage. [Source: Gallup]

Relationships are stickier than benefits

You've heard the old adage, "people do business with people they like." It's the same for work. With the innumerable options available to today's workers, they don't need your paycheck to keep them at work, because the company down the street is offering a bigger paycheck. Encouraging relationships among your employees is a cost free way to keep them at your company, because they won't be able to find those relationships just anywhere. Oh, and when people can report they have at least one friend at work they see on a daily basis, they receive the same amount of happiness as if they were earning $100,000 more per year (yes, one-hundred-thousand). [Source: The Atlantic]

Decent pay, solid benefits and good perks now fall into the category of "necessary but not sufficient," when it comes to hiring and keeping the best (or even good) talent. The one thing that the company down the street doesn't have, is the people you have. Make the most of it by building strong personal relationships with the people you interact with on a daily basis. Encourage others to build personal relationships with their teams. Leading in a way that shows personal connection is important in a workplace setting.

You'll develop employee loyalty and engagement that will be noticeable. Your people will start to talk about the wonderful people they work with, and their friends will start to want to work there.  And, it will make work more fun. And who doesn't want that?