How to Boost Employee Retention

Finding great team members is only half the battle—here’s what you need to do to keep them

Finding the right
employees takes a lot of time and resources. The last thing you want to do is accept a two-week notice from a valued member of the team. One-third of new hires quit their jobs within the first six months, according to the Society for Human Resource Management—making employee retention one of your most crucial tasks.

“Maintaining a loyal and competent staff is an ­important part of a successful jewelry business,” says Leon Rbibo, cofounder and president of the Pearl Source, an online pearl retailer based in Los Angeles. “Losing employees can be ­expensive and can really have a negative effect on the bottom line,” adds Rbibo, who is dedicated to recruiting and retaining top-notch talent in an evolving and expanding marketplace.

People are most likely to leave their jobs when they are dissatisfied with a company’s culture, their salary, or ­advancement opportunities, according to the career website Glassdoor. To avoid the revolving door, create an employee retention program that addresses these concerns and keeps employees happy.

Here are five tips to help make sure your best employees remain with you for years to come.

1. Offer opportunities for growth

High-performing employees want a chance to advance their careers. By providing a strong career path at your organization, you’ll have employees who are engaged and productive.

“We make sure that our top performers have room for advancement,” Rbibo says. “This is critical, as many top performers leave for better opportunities. As our company is continuously growing, we make sure that our top performers have the potential to move up the ladder as we continue to expand.”

Give current employees the first chance to apply for new opportunities. Announce openings at meetings or through emails. You can also ask managers to identify team members who might be a good fit. And partner new employees with a mentor who can help them succeed within your company.

2. Reward employees with competitive pay

While money isn’t the top reason people change jobs, 35 percent of employees say they’ll look for a new job if they don’t get a raise in the next 12 months, according to Glassdoor. Make sure your salary structure and benefits are competitive and demonstrate that you value employees. If you don’t know where your company ranks, use a website such as to identify industry averages in your location.

3. Provide them with meaningful work

Employees love an opportunity to make a difference as well as to have access to leadership. Let your employees know that the work they do matters. Acknowledge their professional accomplishments such as reaching sales goals or product quotas, and personal milestones like anniversaries, birthdays, and family events. These special touches spark an emotional connection and build loyalty.

“We provide our staff with real-time feedback and make ourselves available to our employees,” Rbibo says. “We are approachable, respectful, and have an open-door policy, which has proven to go a long way to creating loyal employees.”

4. Take time hiring

Hiring the right type of person in the first place can help with employee retention, Rbibo says: “When posting a job, we always have a formal job title and detailed job description outlining daily duties, desired personality traits, and preferred qualifications. Once hired, we provide detailed guidelines and hands-on training so that our employees get off on the right foot.”

5. Treat employees well

Consider your employees to be like partners or family, says Yaf Boye-Flaegel, CEO of Yaf Sparkle boutique in New York City. In her fifth year of business, Boye-Flaegel prides herself on creating a cool shopping experience for customers at both of her locations, and she says that starts with hiring and retaining the right team.

Stores succeed when you happily celebrate outstanding customer service, she adds: “That takes a lot of energy—the type of energy that will come from the heart and the heart only.”

Owners and managers who work closely with their staffs on a daily basis should especially take this to heart. “You spend the majority of your time with them anyway, you trust them with your business—with your life, basically,” says Boye-Flaegel. “If there is no love, there is no reason to be with each other.”

Did you know?

Employees who are engaged and thriving are 59 percent less likely to look for a new job.

(Source: Gallup)

(Illustration by Cozy Tomato)


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