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Keep Your Best Employees on Your Payroll

Employee turnover is a substantial expense for most employers. After all, a great deal of time and money goes into recruiting and training employees. There is also a certain degree of productivity loss from the learning curve involved with a new employee replacing a seasoned one. Recent studies have estimated the total cost of replacing an employee anywhere between 30% to 200% of the employee's annual salary.

Attracting and keeping engaged, skilled and loyal employees is a must for any company to operate to its full potential. There are several strategies that you, the employer, may consider to keep your best employees on your payroll. The good news is that your employee retention program doesn't have to break your company's bank account. In fact, some options like offering voluntary benefits won't cost you anything.

A basic benefits package is essential to attract and retain employees in today's job market, especially if you want quality employees. You can help differentiate your benefit offerings from those of your competitors by offering voluntary benefits that the employee is fully responsible for paying.

The premiums for these voluntary benefits, whether it be long-term care insurance, specific health event insurance, hospital intensive care insurance or disability and accident insurance, can be 100% employee paid. Even though the employee will be covering the entire cost, both you and your employees will find several advantages in such employee-sponsored voluntary benefits. For example, some types of benefit plans can be paid with the employee's pre-tax dollars and you, as the sponsor, may even be eligible for a tax break.

Another point to consider about voluntary benefits is that the enrollment requirements are usually less stringent than the employer-paid plans. Most traditional employer-sponsored plans will have a stipulation that a certain percentage or number of employees be enrolled in the plan for the company to continue being eligible. On the other hand, most voluntary plans have small, if any, enrollment requirements. Such plans have also become fairly easy to obtain, as most insurance companies are offering them now.

You might consider some other perks to help you reduce your turnover rate and encourage employee loyalty. These perks can be as cheap and simple as a bring your pet to work day or casual attire day to help boost employee morale and personal connections. Another idea is offering flexible work hours to give your company an attractive advantage over other employers with rigid and strictly enforced work schedules. If applicable, you may even consider your employees discounts on the goods or services offered by your company. Should you still find yourself at a loss, there are always clever non-cash rewards for employees like "playtime" and positive affirmations.

The ideas above barely scratch the surface when it comes to the array of things that you can do to attract and retain great employees. Remember to use your imagination and try to make what you have to offer stand out from the crowd.