How to Keep Employees Happy: Combat Attrition

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job tipsDo you feel passionate about your work and committed to your company? 70% of Americans would be likely to respond “no” to this question.

According to Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workforce report:

  • 18% are actively disengaged: dissatisfied, unmotivated workers with attitudes that can be contagious to coworkers
  • 52% are disengaged: doing the bare minimum required to keep their job, but without any real connection to their work
  • 30% are engaged: proactive, productive employees who feel personally connected to the company

Low Employee Engagement Increases Attrition

Actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. more than $450 billion each year. Unhappy employees are more likely to leave the organization. Adecco’s 2012 Graduation Survey revealed that 91% of recent graduates would leave a job they didn’t like within a year. Turnover is expensive: on average, replacing just one employee costs 20% of their annual salary.

Attrition occurs when employees who leave aren’t replaced. Ironically, this often results in more turnover, as remaining employees become frustrated trying to “do more with less.” If your company has an employee engagement problem, or if you’re a disengaged employee, you probably already know it.

So how do you solve the problem and avoid attrition? Start by getting inspired by these five companies, who have developed creative employee engagement strategies to keep employees happy and minimize turnover.

5 Companies with Unique Strategies to Keep Employees Happy

 

Deloitte Offers Paid Time Off to Pursue Personal Goals

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Deloitte offers a Sabbatical Program, allowing employees to take a three to six month sabbatical to focus on professional development or volunteer work. While on sabbatical, employees receive 40% of their base salary. The company justifies the cost because they believe employees use the time to “refresh and renew”, returning to work with enhanced “effectiveness, creativity and productivity.”

In 2013, Deloitte moved up from #67 to #47 on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list.

SAP Identifies Employee Engagement as a Strategic Goal

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At SAP, employee engagement is a core focus. They “articulate the why” to explain company decisions. They understand that employees need to understand the purpose of their work and how it contributes to the overall goals of the organization. SAP’s 2012 Integrated Report shows increasing employee engagement: 79% of employees were engaged in 2012, up ten percent from 2009.

In 2013, SAP committed to simplifying work processes. Their goal is to give employees more time to focus on meaningful, innovative work; while decreasing the risk of burnout.

Evernote Offers Unlimited Vacation Time – With a Twist

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When Evernote began offering unlimited vacation time, CEO Phil Libin worried that committed team members would actually take less time off. His solution: “rewarding people for taking at least a week at a time on a real trip by giving them $1,000 spending money.”

Evernote also recognizes that spouses play a big role when an employee decides whether to leave the company. To increase the odds spouses will encourage their employees to stay put, Evernote pays for professional housecleaning twice per month.

NetApp has a Unique Employee Recognition Program

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 Although NetApp has doubled in size, Vice Chairman Tom Mendoza wanted to make sure employees felt appreciated.  He started NetApp’s unique employee recognition program, “Catch Someone Doing Something Right.” Tipped off by managers, he makes 10 to 20 personal phone calls a day to “either congratulate them on a job well done or give encouragement during difficult times.”

In 2013, NetApp maintained their #6 ranking on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list.

LinkedIn Lets Employees Bring Their Parents to Work

"LinkedIn Bring In Your Parents Day"

LinkedIn put a new twist on “Take Your Kids to Work Day” with “Bring Your Parents to Work Day”, citing that employees with family support were happier, more productive and more loyal.

LinkedIn recognized that parents were a valuable part of their employees’ professional networks. However, they noticed, “parents don’t really understand what their kids do for a living and may not feel like they can offer support and advice – even if they want to.” LinkedIn forms a bond with parents by inviting them to experience the work environment firsthand, a strategy that may increase retention.

Adecco’s 2012 Graduation Survey found that 30% of Millennials indicated their parents were involved in their job search. It’s likely that Millennials who are thinking about looking for a new job will also ask their parents for advice. A parent who feels connected to the company is more likely to encourage them to stay and find new ways to get engaged.

What do you think employers should do to keep employees happy? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Jenni Chelenyak About Jenni Chelenyak

Jenni currently works with Adecco’s global Information Management team as a Business SME on the Candidate Management Programme - Social Media. She’s been with Adecco’s Professional Staffing division since 2010 and held roles in on-boarding and compliance, client account management and technical recruiting. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends, yoga and working with an animal rescue group.

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