The Secret to Retaining Employees

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As someone who specializes in Accounting & Finance staffing in the Tampa Bay market, it would be stating the obvious by saying that it’s a challenging labor market for those looking to hire.  With unemployment rates at historic lows, and with those rates being even lower for those in the accounting/professional sector, the demand/supply equation has definitely been tipped on its side. This is very good news if you are seeking a new job, but if you are looking to hire or replace an existing employee, it can definitely be daunting. Though some amount of employee turnover is expected, and sometimes can, in fact, be positive, there is a real advantage to employers retaining quality employees and thereby avoiding the frustration of having to dip their toes in the current job market.

In 2019, Taylor White conducted a survey of over 350 accounting and finance professionals across the Millennial, Gen-X and Baby Boomer generations. There were many questions asked in our survey, one of which was “What Keeps You with a Company.” Based on our survey results, here are some tips on what you can do to enhance your employee retention:

  • Listen to Your Employees: Across all generations, the number one factor keeping an employee with their company was the “ability to be heard” by their supervisor. Allowing input from those that work for you goes a long way towards making them feel like they have a voice.
  • Flexibility: No, flexibility doesn’t mean you need to allow your employee to work remote 100% of the time. However, having some flexibility with setting start/end times, or the ability to leave early on occasion or come in late on occasion to allow your employees to attend to personal appointments was a major factor with retention.
  • Potential to Make an Impact: No matter the industry, most employees want to feel valued and know that their work is impactful. Most accountants might joke that accounting is not saving lives, but a supervisor who takes the extra time to explain the bigger picture of the “how and the why” behind their work goes a long way in making the employee feel like their efforts mean something to the organization.
  • Potential for Compensation Increase: Not everyone is singularly motivated by money, but most everyone expects to be fairly paid for their work. If an employee has the potential to increase their income based upon their contributions, it will lower the risk that a competitor may attract them for financial reasons.
  • Compensation Relative to Market: While the potential for future raises is an important factor to retaining employees, it is equally important that their current compensation is fair relative to the market. If someone feels they will are underpaid, they may be tempted to accept a similar level role with another employer that pays them what they perceive to be the fair market value for their position.

There is no “magic bullet” to retaining employees.  There are many factors that impact employee satisfaction and sticking power. However, if your goal is to keep high performers and limit the number of replacement hires at your company, these 5 tips are a great place to start. Of course, if and when you find yourself in a situation where you need to seek new talent, Taylor White will be there!