Courie Weston

Friday, 19 July 2002 07:09

Love 'em or lose 'em

The Employers Resource Council has long been known as a purveyor of advice on hiring practices.

So when it sent out a press release announcing the results of s survey entitled "Employee Expectations High, Employers Forced to Meet Demands," it was only trying to help.

But employers may not see it that way. What employer wants to offer higher wages? What manager likes to hear that he or she should offer more vacation time? What owner wants to pay for employees to take university classes? An owner who wants to stay competitive, according to Melissa Cassidy, director of the research center at ERC.

The study calculated the average costs to employers per new hire for both manufacturing and nonmanufacturing companies. According to the study, hourly employees in manufacturing industries cost $3,345 to replace in 2000. Salary nonexempt workers cost $5,819 to replace and salary exempt workers cost $15,433 to replace.

In nonmanufacturing businesses, hourly workers cost $2,525 to replace; salary nonexempt workers put a company back $5,819, while salary exempt workers cost $10,173.

The Alexander Hamilton Institute (AHI) Employment Resource Center offers advice on retaining employees, including tips on motivation, building morale, increasing employee self-worth, empowerment and communication. The following are tips on how to retain your employees.

Performance pick-me-up

Sometimes routines can get old, causing employees' motivation and performance to take a dive. Consider offering alternative work schedules.

The AHI advises, "Flexible work arrangements help employees to strike a balance between work and family, thereby improving productivity in your department." Examples include flextime, compressed workweeks or telecommuting.

Morale builder

The AHI advises employers to give employees high-profile responsibilities: "Employees will approach their responsibilities more enthusiastically if they know that their colleagues will see the results."

Another approach employers can use is to roll up their sleeves and lend a hand. According to AHI, employers can help by personally relieving an employee for one hour for a well-deserved break, for an extended lunch, or to allow the employee "simply to sit back and watch the boss perform one of their least favorite tasks."

Empowerment

Involve employees with decision-making. AHI advises that "by involving employees in the decision-making process, it not only frees up managerial time, it also gives employees a greater sense of responsibility and commitment."

Or create partnerships with employees. By giving them a vested interest in the company, they will feel more connected to their work. The AHI also suggests employers tear down status barriers, open company books and pay for performance.

The Web site www.keepem.com ("Getting good people to stay") warns employers that have yet to come out of the employment Dark Ages that they are in danger of losing employees.

"You have the power to greatly influence your employees' decisions about staying on your team. Show that you care about them and their needs. Remember them. Notice them. Listen to them. Thank them. Love them. Or lose them." How to reach: ERC, (216) 696-3636, www.ercnet.org

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