In today’s topsy-turvy economy you may think employee turnover is not an issue. You couldn’t be more wrong. The expense of replacing a lost employee goes far beyond the simple loss of productivity created by their absence. Advertising, interview time and training all combine to make a serious dent in any company’s personnel budget. Raises, health insurance and paid vacations are all good investments in your employees. They are not, however, always economically feasible. There are other, more cost effective, ways to increase employee satisfaction without wiping out your bottom line.

This is not to dismiss the importance of fair and equitable compensation. Everyone wants to be paid what they are worth. No matter how much you love your job, if you can’t make your bills you are not likely to stay. Ask any actor who has served his time on the midnight shift at Denny’s and you’ll find they agree.

So, based on the assumption you are paying fair-market value for your staff, what else is there? Consider this; according to a 2008 study conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics your average American age 25 to 54 spends more time working than they do on any other activity, including sleeping and caring for their families. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2009) In short, the office has become the new “home” and coworkers our extended family.

As such, the paradigm for a “good work environment” has changed. Today’s employees require more than a paycheck, they want validation. Applaud your worker’s successes and help them learn from their failures. Remember their birthdays and know the names of their spouse and children. Offer a clear sense of direction and train your staff well. Give them these few simple gifts and you will be rewarded with loyalty, dedication and longevity.

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