Smart Ways to Increase Employee Retention

By Krista Tuner

Keeping your employees once you have them is a thorny problem in the staffing services industry. The difficulty in retaining temporary employees (i.e., external staff) gets most of the press, but there’s also high-turnover for permanent employees (i.e.internal staff).So how do you keep your employees for the long haul? There arenumerous strategies you can use:
1. Offer training.Training Knowlege
Although training isusually discussed inreference to temporary employees, you should offer skills enhancement to all your workers.Offering training to your temporary workers not only helps retain them but also makes good business sense. After all, a more skilled workercommands a higher pay rate. The higher the pay, the greater your profit.As for yourpermanent employees, the staffing services industrycontinues to change rapidly, and your staff members need to stay abreast of these changes. New technology, new selling techniques, changes in employment laws, and the huge impact of the internet are all compelling reasons to keep permanent employees in the loop.

Following are some ways to provide your employees with training:
Computerized training. You’veinvested in computers and a variety of software packages; make sure they get good use. Every employee can benefit from added computer skills.
– DVDs, audiotapes, books, articles and pamphlets. The American Staffing Association offers a variety of all these to its members. Your local library may also have useful resources.
Mentoring programs. These can be informal (within your own company) or more formal (involving local businesses, universities or colleges).
Outside seminars and classes. Community college tuition is usually inexpensive. Look into seminars and classes your employees could take. This training method could be offered as an elected benefit (e.g., instead of vacation time) to either permanent or temporary employees.

2. Pay employees well.

In addition to offering training, staffing firms can retain good employees by offering attractive pay rates and salaries. What you pay your employees, both office and field staff, will depend on the following factors:
Employee skills and experience. Salaries and pay rates are consistent with the employee’s experience and the skill level of the work performed. In “hot” segments of the industry, like information technology or the professional sector, skilled workers are receiving top dollar for their services.
Supply and demand. Salaries rise in a labor shortage, and you’ll pass on the cost of field staff to your clients by adding a markup percentage. Therefore, high employee earnings are good news for your staffing service. In addition, some locations have particularly high demand for specific types of workers. This factor also increases pay rates.
– Geographical location. The higher the cost of living, the higher employees’ salaries will be. Generally, theNortheast (especially New York City) and the West Coast (especially California) have higher pay scales. Similarly, workers in cities earn more than those in small towns.
Worker seniority. A good employee who’s been with your service for at least six months deserves to receive better pay than someone you just hired. Also, senior staff often get first crack at higher-paying assignments.

3. Provide attractive benefits.Benefits

The benefits you provide employees can go a long way toward helping you retain workers. Benefits you should consider providing include the following:
– Health insurance. Most staffing services provide some kind of healthinsurance.
Life insurance. This is one of the less common benefits, but it’s offered by some companies.
Paid vacations and holidays. Almost all staffing services offer this benefit, at least once the temporary employee’s worked a certain number of hours or days.
Tuition reimbursement. As training becomes increasingly important, you may consider it worthwhile to pay for, or contribute toward, your employees’ continuing education.

4. Offer a variety of bonuses and incentives.

The staffing industry is one that lends itself particularly well to a merit-based pay system, especially for permanent employees. Many staffing services offer permanent employees the chance to significantly enhance their base pay rates via a variety of bonuses. Here are some typical bonuses awarded in the industry:
Acceptance bonus. If your service needs a worker for an especially hard-to-fill position offered by a valuable client, it may be reasonable to offer a bonus to the employee who takes the position. Depending on how important the client is — and how desperate you are — this bonus would be paid instead of, or in addition to, a higher hourly rate.
Performance bonus. This incentive is common in the industry. This type of bonus could apply to both permanent and temporary employees, although it’s more frequently given to the former. It’s usually handled as a percentage of the base pay rate.
Referral bonus. Most staffing services give bonuses to both permanent and temporary staff for the referral ofqualified applicants.

Is the US Workforce Passionate About Their Jobs?

By Steve Bent

According to a recent study released by Deloite’s Center for the Edge, only 13% of the U.S. workforce is passionate about their jobs, however, over two thirds of that group are optimistic about the future of their companies. Conversely, 68% of the U.S. workforce remains not engaged, despite an expected investment by U.S. corporations of over $100 billion in training and $1 billion in employee engagement in 2017.
Further, the study found that only 35% of the workforce had the disposition to seek out challenges in their organization. Even among engaged employees, more than 60% didn’t seek challenges. This lack of passion for work exists at all levels surveyed and job types in the workforce with 64% of all workers and 50% of executives and senior management surveyed being neither passionate nor engaged in their work.I love my job!
These findings indicate that employers might be focused too narrowly on employee engagement, rather than developing a workforce with the necessary passion to solve complex challenges and pursue new opportunities during this period of rapid technological change. In addition, the findings indicate a shift to new types of learning and collaboration environments could in fact address key barriers to a more engaged and passionate workforce.
Worker attributes According to the study, passionate workers generally exhibit three attributes: long-term commitment to making a significant impact in a domain; questing disposition that actively seeks out new challenges in order to improve faster; and connection disposition that seeks to build trust-based relationships with others who can help them get to a better answer.
Respondents fell into three clusters:
Passionate Employee – 13% of respondents have all three attributes of worker passion.
Contented Employee – 23% of respondents score high on an index of engagement indicators, but do not have all three attributes of worker passion.
Half-hearted Employee – 64% of respondents do not have all three attributes of worker passion and do not score high on engagement.
The study found that only 38% of engaged employees had the questing disposition, and nearly half of the engaged workers also lacked a desire to make a significant impact in their industry, function or specialty. Engagement seemed to have the most significant effect on workers’ tendency to reach out to others to solve challenges and improve their own performance.

7 Ways to Keep Your Best Employees

By Troy Stoneking

The single most expensive part of any organization is your employees. Salaries and benefits such as healthcare, 401K matches and vacations cost companies more than any other category. People are expensive. Just bringing in a new employee can cost thousands of dollars.
According to Investopedia, training a new employee to the break-even point takes an average 6.2 months.  That means that if an employee leaves, you’ll need half a year just to get his or her replacement up to a base level.  But what if one of your top producers leaves? The best of the best in your organization? These people are simply not replaceable. Organizational influence, internal and external relationships and the domino effect on other employees make losing these people incredibly damaging.
To prevent this scenario requires some changes to how you treat your superstars. Here are seven ways to hang on to your best employees.
1. Promote appropriately.
When your best people are doing the kind of work that makes a difference, recognize it. One great way is to give them a well-deserved promotion. This tells the rest of the company (and others outside) that you appreciate the extra effort they put forth to make the company more profitable and efficient.
One caution here. Be wary of the Peter Principle.  In his classic 1969 book, Lawrence J. Peter made the observation that, “Managers rise to the level of their incompetence.” For our purposes, let’s just say that it’s important to not move a     person out of a job he or she loves and excels in, in order to “reward” them. A promotion could mean just a change in title and salary without decreasing the employee’s satisfaction and effectiveness.
2. Pay above-standard rates.
To hire and keep the best, you need to pay them the best. We aren’t talking about a ridiculously high salary for these people, but pay that’s at or below the market rate for the position tells employees that their work is not truly valued. What’s more, they may walk. Change their pay to anywhere from 20 percent to 40 percent over market rate.
An important point: Unless there is a legal or contractual reason otherwise, people with the same title must be paid the same rate. Pay your best producers their worth, not some standard established for the average worker in that job.
3. Get employees’ input — then apply it.Tug of War
Who knows what it takes to do a job right? The people who are doing it best. If you want to keep people, then involve them in the decision-making process. Create a “safe zone” where you ask them the hard questions about what should be changed . . . then hear them out. You may not be able to implement every suggestion, but change where you can and let them know you value their input.
4. Encourage creative innovation.
The previous point was about changing the present; this one is about changing the future. Give your best people the time and resources to test out fresh new ideas. This will keep them engaged and may just bring in another revenue stream. Many people love to create. Let them do so; it benefits everyone involved.
5. Clean out the dead weight.
This may be the most difficult move. There are likely people in your organization that hold others back. Through their lack of a good work ethic, negativity, sub-par production, gossip and    engagement in office politics, they are a cancer to your team. Great people need to work with other great people. Do the hard work of removing those who slow everyone else down.
6. Use friendly competition.
People in competition with one another tend to increase their        production. Put together teams in your organization working on     solving similar problems or projects with a simultaneous time line. Offer a small reward (perhaps a dinner out for the winners) to the team that does the highest quality work in the shortest time. Competition is fun, exciting and very engaging. Engaged people stick around.
7. Get off their backs.
Great employees know what they are supposed to be doing and when it needs to be done. Constant reminders and micromanaging will drive them right out the door. Give them the task or project, and be available to answer questions, but otherwise leave them alone. They do their best work without someone always looking over their shoulder.
No one likes to see a quality individual leave for another organization. And, in many cases, this is preventable. As a leader, you have the responsibility to do what it takes to keep your top people engaged in your company’s mission.  If you make these suggested changes, you have a good chance of increasing engagement among and retention of your best people. Keeping them happy will help your bottom line.