Keeping valuable employees can be complicated in today’s evolving workplace that faces challenges unique to our fast-paced, technological world; yet it is more important than ever to retain an efficient workforce in order to remain competitive. The hidden cost of high turnover can drain a company’s resources. Replacement costs for workers are estimated at 1/3 of their salary—significant even at minimum wage! Face it – training is expensive and time consuming, so it is vital to keep those trained workers to enhance your business. Let’s examine the differences between young and mature workers to identify their needs and ensure these needs are being met. Unlike older generations, who have a tendency to stay in one or two jobs for their entire working lives, it can be tricky to build company loyalty in younger workers. Generation-X-Y recruits look at employment as a means to gain skills and experience, while being quick to move on if the job fails to meet their expectations. They ask themselves ”What is in it for me”— yet a company can really benefit from progressive energy and new ideas. For instance, technology comes easily to younger workers, while it may be intimidating to those who haven’t grown up using computers and social media. On the other hand, mature workers may have a wealth of skills to pass on, but are often overlooked when it comes to taking on a training role. Failing to recognize their stability and valuable contributions can lead to stagnation and boredom, ultimately leading to loss of productivity. What can you do to retain a skilled and motivated work force? Based on surveys of employees in many types of work, a number of criteria have been identified that enhance job satisfaction:


Wages and benefits

    • while a livable wage is important, this consideration can be offset by providing health/dental benefits Chance of advancement
    • increases motivation
    • encourages healthy competition to do a better job

Open communication between all levels of management and staff

    • good supervisors are critical to clarify job expectations
    • provide a framework for success
    • problems are dealt with fairly and quickly
    • good rapport with co-workers
    • focus on relationships

Manageable workloads

    • an issue in most workplaces as businesses struggle to survive in today’s economy by reducing their staff
    • enhance feelings of competency through training to be more effective in time allotted

Opportunities to gain skills and training

    • when your employer respects you enough to upgrade your skills, you are more likely to feel loyal

Meaningful work

    • flexibility within the workplace to do a variety of tasks
    • feel that what you are accomplishing has value
    • reduces boredom

Autonomy, with choice in how the work gets done

    • micromanaging a worker does not get the job done faster or better
    • often there is more than one way to accomplish a task

Respectful, appreciative atmosphere

  • positive feedback
  • praise or recognition for a job well done
  • feeling like a valuable member of the team