Monday, March 17, 2014

Guest Post: 8 Reasons to Retain Existing Employees

Should an employer try to hang on to existing employees or hire new ones? It depends on the situation, but you should never be too quick to get rid of your existing work force in favor of fresh new faces. Let’s say, for example, that you’ve noticed a drop in morale among some of the established employees at your firm. Perhaps you think it’s easier to get rid of the malcontents and hire new (and possibly cheaper) workers. Or suppose morale isn’t an issue, but some new positions or opportunities have become available in your firm. Maybe you think it is better to start with a new crew than to give your existing employees first grabs at the new opportunities. But don’t be too hasty. There are plenty of good reasons you should make every effort to retain your old employees. Here are eight.

1.   You’ll save money, time, and effort in recruitment and hiring. Looking outside of your firm to fill positions can be costly and time-consuming, and placing help wanted ads is just the beginning. Although the Internet has made job postings more cost-effective and much more efficient, ads in other media such as print or broadcast still have a viable role in many companies’ recruitment strategies. And someone has to monitor those job postings, as well as review resumes, interview candidates, conduct background checks, and verify references.
2.   You’ll save time and effort in training. Some may argue that it takes more time and effort to retrain employees who are “stuck in their ways” than to train new ones. There may be some validity to this argument in certain cases if an employee has bad work habits that seem ingrained. But what about your good, productive employees? They are already trained, and you don’t have to start from scratch. They may need additional training, refresher courses, or retraining in some areas, but the fact that they’re not a blank slate can be to your company’s advantage.
3.   Your existing employees have experience and the right skills. Experienced employees are generally less likely to make errors and more likely to be productive. Even if you have to retrain in some instances, keeping your old employees is still often more cost effective than hiring new ones.
4.   You can’t put a price on morale. Morale can take a nosedive when employees get laid off, downsized, outsourced, or replaced. Making an effort to retain employees – and making your employees aware of that effort – can go a long way towards keeping morale high. Remember that once morale breaks down it can be very difficult (and costly) to restore.
5.   The employees you have are a known quantity. We’re not going to say "go with what you know,” but the truth is that you do know them, to a large degree, after they’ve been with your company for a while. You know something about their work habits, their job performance, perhaps even their interests and ambitions.
6.   There is value in continuity and stability. Continuity is good for productivity. Some industries just naturally have a high turnover rate and count that as part of the cost of doing business, but most companies would rather not have to deal with a revolving door of employees. Making a genuine effort to retain good employees will help ensure that your company isn’t beset by constant personnel upheavals.
7.   There is value in loyalty. Many companies like to boast that their people are their most cherished resource, yet the actions of many firms don’t really reflect that noble sentiment. And if it seems that employee loyalty is a thing of the past, perhaps it has something to do with the fact that in the past couple of decades, employer loyalty has fallen by the wayside as well. Globalization, economic upheavals, and cultural shifts have created a work environment that is markedly different from that of previous generations, and these days it’s pretty rare for a worker to stay at the same company all of his or her working life. Yet you can and should strive to do your best to retain your valued employees as long as possible. Loyalty is no longer a given; you have to earn it. But it’s well worth the effort.
8.   Sometimes, it’s just the right thing to do. Business has always been about more than the bottom line; it is (or should be) about human values as well. Your employees are not disposable, interchangeable commodities; they are individuals who contribute value to your company. This isn’t to say that you should hang on to a worker who is a true liability to your operation. But don’t be quick to get rid of experienced employees. Sometimes, making that extra effort to retain a long-time worker – even if that worker is having a challenge or two – really is the right thing to do.

Although it is true that you may be able to hire new employees for a lower salary, the actual cost of replacing established, experienced workers might turn out to be steeper than the salary difference. Very often, you really do get what you pay for.

Author Bio:
This is a guest post by Sarah Brooks from She is a Houston based freelance writer and blogger. Questions and comments can be sent to brooks.sarah23 @

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