Employee engagement has plateaued to 70 percent for some time, with concerns about lack of career advancement opportunities being the top reason why employees quit their jobs, according to a LinkedIn survey of 7 million members.
Meantime, an estimated 45 percent of survey respondents said lack of potential career advancement was the main reason they left their job, while 59 percent added that perception of a better career path was the main reason they joined a new organization.
For employers, this makes offering employee development opportunities a high priority. The total cost of replacing an employee can cost 90 percent to 200 percent of that employee’s salary, adding up to 12 percent of pre-tax income for the average company, according to research cited by the Society for Human Resource Management.
This does not include the impact on the overall business performance of other employees, who sometimes must compensate for lost manpower by helping to train new hires. The exodus of employees can also lead to a snowball effect of even higher turnover rates.
Want to help safeguard your company from the debilitating effects of high turnover rates? Here are four strategies you can implement to promote employee engagement.
Invest in Employee Development
A Great Place to Work study of Fortune’s 100 best places to work found that the most competitive employers experience a 65 percent lower turnover rate than other companies due to a strong company culture and commitment to employee development.
The best companies to work for invest an average of 58 hours of training annually for hourly employees and 73 hours annually for salaried employees. Meantime, 88 of the 100 best companies offer tuition reimbursement programs, with an average reimbursement of $7,375 available to each employee per year.
Tuition support and on-the-job training are two excellent ways to reduce turnover rates and help companies retain their most valuable employees.
Provide Mentoring and Team-Building Programs
Another way to support employee development is providing employees with training support from mentors and teams. Likewise, an estimated 71 percent of Fortune 500 companies use mentoring programs, according to talent development provider Chronus.
A Sun Microsystems study found retention rates are much higher for mentors and mentees who participate in mentoring programs, with a 72 percent retention rate amongst mentees and 69 percent for mentors. Another way to deliver peer support is by creating teams that function as mentoring groups.
For instance, a Great Place to Work study describes how legal firm Arnold & Porter divides its staff into teams of 10 to 12 associates supervised by three to four leaders. Each team meets once a month to discuss professional development and other issues. Teams also participate together in social events.
Provide BYOD Devices
An estimated 74 percent of companies are now either following a bring-your-own-device policy or planning on implementing one in the near future, according to a 2015 Tech Pro Research survey. BYOD policies encourage employee engagement, increase productivity, reduce training time, and trim tech costs, according to Truvian Labs.
These policies can also serve as way to motivate employees by investing in them. Some employers may choose to cover the full cost of an approved device, such as an iPad Pro, as a way to incentivize employees. Another method of covering BYOD costs is paying employees a monthly stipend to cover their own equipment costs and upgrades.
Recognize Employee Achievements
Investing in employee motivation is another important aspect of employee development. The Wall Street Journal emphasizes the importance of recognizing and praising employee achievement as a strategy for reducing employee turnover.
One simple way to implement this strategy is sending a thank-you note to employees upon completion of a project. Copying the note to senior management enhances the effectiveness of this method. Monthly awards, periodic recognition events with prizes, and annual reviews and raises are other ways to recognize employee achievement.
Rick Meekins is the Managing Consultant at Aepiphanni, a Business Consultancy that provides Management Consulting, Implementation and Managed Services to business leaders and entrepreneurs seeking to improve or expand operations. We are the trusted advisor to those seeking forward-thinking operational and strategic solutions to help them plan for and navigate through the challenges of business growth.
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