These tips can help you learn how to reduce turnover in your office environment.

In a tight labor market, companies must find ways to reduce employee turnover. Losing employees when the unemployment rate is hovering around 3.5% will mean that replacing employees can be difficult and costly. Worse yet, Employee turnover costs businesses about $11 billion every year.

There is no silver bullet for retaining employees — different benefits will appeal to different workers. Here are a few tips to help boost employee retention.

Offer Competitive Compensation

One of the most effective ways to attract and keep good employees is to offer compensation and benefits that are competitive. A difference of even a dollar an hour adds up for your employees.

Just as important as wages are benefits such as paid time off, health insurance, and retirement plans. In fact, nearly 80% of employees would trade a pay increase for new or additional benefits.

When putting together a wage and benefits package, you should remember that you are competing for employees against other businesses. You should be aware of what other employers are offering and be prepared to offer something similar, if not better, than workers can find in the same area for comparable work.

Promote from Inside

One way to foster employee loyalty is to provide a path for advancement. Concrete examples of employees who worked their way up in your company can be a powerful way to convince employees that they will be rewarded for staying with the company

Develop Flexible HR Policies

For work that does not require coordinated shifts of workers, flexible scheduling can help employees whose time is arranged around childcare, transportation, and medical issues. Employees engaged in assembly line work or other manual labor might be happier with flexible schedules and your business loses nothing as long as the work gets done. If the work allows it, setting up employees to work remotely from home or even while on vacation can help you to maintain productivity while giving employees the ability to meet obligations they have outside of work.

Reduce Social Isolation

Nearly two-thirds of new hires, and slightly under half of the workers who have been with a company more than ten years, feel socially isolated at work. This isolation is not just bad for employee morale. Lonely employees can have a direct impact on their employer as they are less productive and miss work more frequently, are less physically and emotionally healthy and are more likely to quit or be fired

Allowing employees the opportunity to chit-chat during the workday helps to encourage socialization. Planned social activities, like company parties, give employees the ability to see each other in a non-work setting..

Increase Collaboration

Teams are effective for all types of work, whether the work requires creativity or manual tasks. Collaboration brings many benefits to both your business and your employees.

  • Maintaining teams over the long term makes your employees feel invested in the team’s work
  • Team members develop social relationships, even if they are only at work, that can help reduce social isolation
  • Teams are more productive and can encourage more creative problem solving than individual work
  • Organizing into teams can help you to amplify individual employee’s strengths and cover for individual employee’s weaknesses

Develop a Family Policy

There is no single solution to providing a family policy for business because every company and family situation is different. However, employees who feel that their employer recognizes and accommodates their family needs will be more likely to stay with the company rather than looking for work elsewhere. Companies should be willing to provide resources for employees that require childcare, eldercare, and other family needs. It might also be beneficial to plan for pet care since nearly half of American households have a dog.

Provide Meaningful Feedback

Employees say they dread employee evaluations, but what they really dread are ineffective employee evaluations. Employee evaluations are a time for your company to improve employee performance, not just to go through the motions of evaluating employees or criticizing them mindlessly.

  • Identify the behavior that you want to influence. If changing the behavior will not have a direct work-related effect, criticizing an employee for it is not constructive.
  • Think about how to word the criticism. When explaining the criticism, take the time to choose your words carefully.
  • Provide an achievable goal. Include a goal with the criticism that will overcome the source of the criticism.

Consider a Fitness Program

Physical fitness is an easy way to reduce absenteeism, relieve stress, and improve mood. One of the most significant indicators of poor health is obesity. However, even a small amount of physical activity can help to control weight. For example, 30 minutes of tennis can burn about 169 calories in women and 208 calories in men.

Some ways businesses can implement a physical fitness program include:

  • On-site fitness facilities
  • Discounted or free gym memberships
  • Sponsored sports teams and fun runs

Employees are human resources for your business. When your business has high turnover, you lose institutional knowledge. Worse yet, productivity suffers as you spend time seeking out and training new employees. On the other hand, taking some time to develop employee-friendly policies for your business can pay off with lower turnover and greater productivity.