Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

3 Ways to Increase Employee Retention Before Hiring

Can you confidently say that you have a happy, satisfied workforce? You may be hiring for open or new positions and want to show top candidates that your company is a great one to work for. Are your current employees happy though? Can you sell a great company culture to new employees if your current workforce is unhappy? The answer to that is a big “no.” In order to attract top candidates to your company you need to first be sure you are taking care of your current employees as best you can. That means focusing on employee retention.

Before you pause and say, “My employees are very satisfied,” first think of the Gallup-Healthways study from September of 2011 that showed Americans now feel worse about their jobs, and their work environments, than ever before. New statistics haven’t shown any kind of uptick, so as an employer you should be doing everything you can to increase employee retention before your workforce jumps ship. The best part about that though is that you don’t necessarily have to spend money in order to make your employees happy. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can be sure your employees are happy and satisfied with your company.

Meaningful Work
Have you ever done something for work and thought that it was absolutely meaningless, and that whatever you were doing made no difference in your life or the lives of others? You need to be sure that your employees know that their work is meaningful. Doing so will make them more productive and satisfied in what they are doing. It’s also a surefire way of increasing employee retention. You can easily do this by supporting your workforce’s progress- even if it’s small. If you notice progress on an on-going project, be sure to tell those working on it what a great job they are doing. Recognizing their progress, and making them feel as though it is meaningful, is certain to increase their productivity. A lot can come from motivation, and it’s free!

Promote Your Workers’ Well-Being
You want work to get done, that’s a certainty. However, you also want to be sure that your employees are healthy and avoiding burnout. If you overwork your employees, you will see them crash and burn right before your eyes- and your work with it. Plus, they may start to hate their work and actively look for a way out. You can avoid this easily by communicating with your employees and knowing what they need in order to get the job done right. Are they overwhelmed with too much on their plates? Are you expecting too much from them in a short amount of time? Do they have the resources necessary to accomplish the tasks you set for them?

These are all questions you need to ask yourself and your employees as well. Setting high expectations for your employees is great, and in fact can act as a motivating factor. However, setting them too high can lead to burnt-out employees that no longer have the time or energy to care for the work they are doing. That often leads to poor employee retention and a high turnover rate. Communicate with your employees often and be sure you are not pushing them too hard. A burnt-out employee is an unproductive and unhappy employee. The best part? Communication with your employees is free.

We talk about it a lot here at Spark Hire, but that’s only because it’s very important. Employee appreciation and recognition for their work equals out to higher productivity. If employees know that the work they are doing is being noticed, and appreciated, they are likely to repeat their actions and work harder next time to keep that recognition up. Again, employee appreciation doesn’t have to equal out to dollar signs. Simple communication and verbal recognition is enough to make any employee happy. If you have an employee or team that is doing a great job and constantly meeting or surpassing goals, then be sure to let them know you have noticed all of their hard work. Other employees will notice their praise and will likely work hard to receive their own, thus increasing productivity and employee retention across the board.

Before you can try and sell a great company culture or a great company to new hires, you need to first work on those you have already hired. Communicate with your workforce and understand what it is they need or want in order to be satisfied and productive.

Do you think that you have a happy, satisfied workforce? How do you work on employee retention in your company? Share with us in the comments section below!

Nicole Nicholson

Nicole is the Content Editor for Spark Hire and mainly writes for and edits the work for the Spark News blog. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for writing, editing, and pretty much anything to do with content. In her free time she frequents the Chicago music scene and writes reviews on shows for her own personal blog. Connect with Nicole and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter