Chief Operating Officer LaSalle Network
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How to improve employee retention
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How to improve employee retention

3 Ways to Improve Employee Retention

by
Dec 5th 2018
Chief Operating Officer LaSalle Network
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With unemployment nearing historic lows and a quit rate that recently reached the highest level in 17 years, attracting and retaining talent are currently among the biggest challenges facing companies and firms across America.

That's why our company, LaSalle Network, recently collected data from nearly 800 accounting professionals on this very topic to get to the root of what exactly this group of professionals is seeking in a job and a company and what motivates them to look elsewhere. Broken up by years of experience, 41 percent of respondents had 12 years of experience or more, 18 percent were entry-level and 30 percent had between three and eight years of experience. Of all 800 survey respondents, 77 percent were employed.

Nearly 75 percent of employed respondents stated they are open to hearing about new opportunities. So, while you may believe your staff is happy and content, realize the market is strong, which means people have their eyes and ears open.

Hopefully, you can use the tips outlined here to keep your best people who may be being recruited out.

1. Pay Attention to Career Growth 

Only 41 percent of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with their career path at their current job.

Employees want to be challenged and know what progression they're achieving/can achieve. That's why it's important to meet with those with high potential and top talent to identify what they want out of their careers.

This may look different at different organizations, but the goal is to work with top talent to create a plan that allows them to achieve their specific career goals at your company instead of looking elsewhere. That could mean managers meeting frequently (at least quarterly) to discuss progress or lack thereof towards the employee’s bigger career plan. These meetings aren't status updates on current projects they're working on, but conversations about development and what their motivators are. These can change over time, and it's important managers make note if they do so they can be sure they're giving the employee what they need in order for them to stay engaged and want to continue growing at the company.

Remember, career paths aren't always linear. Depending on company size, there may be a lateral move available, and if that's an avenue the employee would like to pursue (and it makes sense for the business), then be sure staff members know that option is available and they can voice interest in it.

2. Invest in Training 

Based on survey responses, accounting professionals want to continue learning. Even cross-training in a different department or tackling a client engagement outside of their list of regular tasks can help them feel like they are continuing to learn and be challenged.

With this in mind, consider investing more in training in 2019. Encourage employees to attend industry conferences or join a professional development group.

If possible, give staff members the opportunity to understand how another team forms their budget or keeps track of expenses. A new perspective can help employees obtain the growth and development they value.

Organizations don’t need to have a big training team or extensive budget to help employees develop. There are free online resources they can tap into.

3. Offer Better Benefits

According to survey respondents, seeking better benefits was among the top two reasons accounting professionals were open to hearing about new job opportunities. In a tight labor market like we're experiencing today, benefits are playing an increasingly important role in employee retention.

If your company can, it’s a good idea to take another look at what benefits you're offering employees and seek feedback from staff about what they like that you offer and what they took advantage of. Workforce demographics are changing, so what was once important to staff may not be anymore. Don’t assume you know what your team prioritizes: Seek out their opinions to understand what they value and adjust benefits accordingly.

Start having conversations with employees about what keeps them engaged and wanting to come back and what they'd like to see change. If you assume everyone is happy and they'll stay, the current economy is proving otherwise. Talk to employees about what they want out of their careers and how you can help them achieve that...and have that conversation frequently.

For the full report of findings, click here to download LaSalle Network's report.

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