Three Easy Actions That Can Help Retain Employees

As summer kicks into high gear, the tight labor market shows no signs of softening. The latest Employment Situation Summaryfrom the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates 224,000 jobs were added in June. While the unemployment rate increased from 3.6% to 3.7%, it remains near 50-year lows.

This data underscores why it’s more important than ever for companies to retain good employees. While that isn’t always possible, of course, there is one thing employers must do to increase the likelihood that people will stay: let employees know they’re recognized and appreciated.

It’s been well-documented that most people don’t leave a job primarily for better pay. Run a quick Google search of the “top reasons good employees quit” and you’ll find lack of appreciation, recognition, trust, or something similar cited at or near the top of practically every list.  Fortunately, this should be an easy issue to address. Here are three simple things supervisors can do:

  • Send an email to an employee—copying in colleagues and management as appropriate—praising him or her for a job well done. Cite specific accomplishments and the positive results of the person’s actions.
  • Give an employee a hand-written note that expresses your appreciation. To make it even more valued, include a gift card or other reward.
  • Simply say, in person, “thank you.”

In the day-to-day grind of getting work done, it can be easy to lose sight of just how important gestures like these can be. Sincere expressions of recognition, praise, appreciation and thanks can go a long way in motivating, inspiring, and retaining your employees.