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The 5 Most Effective Ways to Retain Employees

You spent a lot of time, money and effort hiring a great team. But how can you make sure everyone is happy, engaged and not checking new job posts twice a week? Employee turnover is an unfortunate side effect of any business. The number of “quits,” what the Department of Labor defines as someone leaving a job voluntarily, not including layoffs, increased in May 2017, up to 3.2 million people. That's a lot of folks seeking greener pastures. So, how can you make sure your employees are happy and engaged in the company? The best way is to build a business with a purpose. Here are 5 ways to keep your employees happy, motivated and staying put.

Build Purpose Into Your Business

People love being part of something that has a higher goal. In fact, 73% of purpose-oriented people are satisfied in their jobs. There's been a recent trend, especially among Silicon Valley startups, to include a socially conscious element in a company's business plan from the get-go. Whether your company can help the local community or you have farther-reaching social action behind your product or service, this sense of purpose helps employees feel they are part of the greater good. Why would you want to leave a job when you're making such a difference in the world?

Integrate Community Into Your WOrk Environment

Encourage your employees to help and support each other and to develop friendships. This will create an overall sense of people working toward one goal, and it makes for happier employees. If employees can champion each other to do great work and come in every morning excited about the day, it boosts not only pride among co-workers but also productivity, morale and retention. In fact, an economic study shows that productivity increases up to 30% when working toward a good cause.

Create an Atmosphere Of Collaboration

This is especially important for attracting and keeping millennials in the workforce. Millennials like working together and being part of a team. They don't like the top-down approach and need to feel that what they're bringing to the table matters. “Millennials are now the largest segment of the working population. And they are forcing people to see things differently,” says Barbara Mitchell, author of The Big Book of HR. “They're asking for things we didn't know we could ask for.” They respond well when their bosses invite them to collaborate. Delivering on these needs will also keep long-time employees engaged as well.

Build Your Business Around Your Employees

Making key business decisions that consider the work and progress of your employees show them how important they are to the company, and this works especially well when it comes to building a higher purpose into your company's ecosystem. KPMG's Claudia Saran says, “Let's not create a statement and call it higher purpose out of the board room. Let's get them to tell us.” If you set a precedent that employees and their voices matter, they will inherently feel more validated and perform better. This is especially true for millennials. “People want to tell you about what's driving them to work,” says Bruce Pfau, a KPMG advisory partner who collected over 30,000 stories of higher purpose during a KPMG research project.

Differentiate Yourself From The Competition

How is your company fulfilling the need for a higher purpose that directly ties into the themes of your mission and business plan? You've got to be creative. Saran urges companies to find a fresh way to inspire employees to be connected to their jobs. The goal is to “differentiate you from the competition and then the results start to come in.”