Published December 8, 2011

7 Creative Employee Retention Ideas

When it comes to your company's greatest asset, there is no limit to the creativity you should use to keep employee motivation at its highest. Your employees are there to do a job and take home a paycheck, but one of the prime employee motivation elements is feeling like they belong and are valued by their company.

What is your creative strategy for employee retention? Here are 7 seven ideas that can help your business become "THE" company to work for.

  1. Employee Training

    While you hope to hire trained and experienced employees into your business, there is always something new to learn. Establish an educational program that encourages employees to want to learn more and continue working for your business.

    Employee retention through education could be through:

    • Seminar attendance: Encourage your employees to attend pertinent seminars. A one or two day seminar in an employee's main core function area could results in big rewards for both the company and the employee.
    • Community college classes: Perhaps an evening course in bookkeeping or marketing at the local community college would be beneficial. Consider offering to pay up to a certain dollar amount in outside education.
    • Technical skills classes: New software and hardware technology is introduced every year. Even if it is a half-day class on working with the newest version of Microsoft Office, it helps to make the employee more comfortable in their role, thus encouraging them to maintain their position with the company.
    • Motivational speakers: You might even consider hiring a motivational speaker to come in for a full day seminar for your employees. These events leave employees feeling rejuvenated, enthusiastic, and hopefully, more motivated.
  2. Bring In the Best Technology

    One way to increase employee motivation is by ensuring they have the best technology and tools available to perform their jobs. No one feels inspired when working on an 8 year old, 1 GHz processor, 256MB RAM Computer. Though that old dinosaur may do the necessary functions you need it to, a new iPad tablet computer will certainly improve an employee's desire and motivation to work.

  3. Employee Ownership

    Sure, it's your business, but why not encourage your workers to own a part of it? Nothing helps employee motivation more than the option to have a share in the company's profits.

    Setting up a profit-share through an Employee Stock Ownership Program is not as hard as it sounds. And employee motivation will certainly improve if they know that every dollar they save or earn helps raise their profit-sharing bonus.

  4. Celebrate Holidays and Special Occasions

    Planning ways to celebrate holidays and various special occasions such as birthdays, can help to motivate your employees and create a positive, enjoyable work environment. Have a departmental decorating contest during the holidays or a Halloween costume contest. These lightly competitive events will get every one in the spirit. For a smaller company celebrate by taking your employees out for a holiday lunch or having an office pot luck lunch.

    And these types of celebrations don't have to be at the holidays. Consider having a random "pajama" day or wear your college gear day.

  5. Employee Mentorship

    Helping up-and-coming employees learn more about how to become an effective manager or director is another great way to improve employee retention. If you spot a real "go-getter," consider taking him or her under your wing. Being a mentor and showing your employees how effective management works can greatly improve their motivation to stick around and put that mentorship to work with future raises and promotions.

  6. Doggie Day Care

    Doggie day care centers have become a popular service for full time workers. You could improve your employee motivation with a little doggie day care of your own.

    Consider using that extra warehouse space, unused storage unit, or other suitable space as a place where your workers can bring their furry kin while they work nearby. The opportunity to walk their pup at lunch or even take a head scratch break can set your company apart and make employees want to stay for you.

  7. Afternoon Naps

    And why not offer a short nap break area? In some other countries, ranging from Spain to China, a brief cat nap is highly encouraged to help recharge and reenergize. Even a brief 15 or 20 minute nap can help clear the mind and improve employee motivation. This will certainly help you stick out from any competitors trying to woo your employees.