Employee retention is a major concern of many U.S. employers. As unemployment rates continue to be low at 3.5%, the pool of quality candidates remains small. But turnover is expensive, so keeping the employees you have is more important than ever as employees now have the power to change jobs at will.

Not only are there costs involved in finding, hiring and training a new employee, but companies can face lost productivity due to working a man down. It’s estimated employee turnover costs U.S. companies about $15,000 per worker. What’s more, according to The Work Institute’s 2019 Retention Report, the reasons three out of four employees leave are preventable—with employee development being one of those reasons.

10 steps to better, happier employees

Here’s what you can do to shine a spotlight on development:

1. Give well-rounded feedback from a variety of sources. Not every employee enjoys feedback. In fact, meeting to discuss performance makes many people anxious. But once employees realize that feedback doesn’t always have to be negative, their attitudes change. One way to provide balance is by offering employees 360-degree feedback, which utilizes feedback from a variety of sources—such as the CEO, coworkers and even customers.

2. Set goals at least four times a year. Setting goals, and talking with your employees about how they plan on achieving those goals, should be done more than once a year. Schedule a meeting with employees quarterly to discuss goals and ask what they need from you to achieve those goals.

3. Allow employees to track their own goals. Goals can sometimes be set, only to fall by the wayside due to day-to-day responsibilities. One way to combat this is to allow your employees to track their goal progress. Visibility into what they’ve accomplished, what’s left and future due dates can be a huge motivator.

4. Become a mentor to your employees. Employees, especially your millennial workers, want the help of a mentor to further their careers and will stay with an employer that provides one. Mentors can be managers or senior employees, as long as they provide coaching programs and other opportunities to learn by example.

5. Integrate development at every opportunity. Employees want to learn at work, and providing more opportunities to do that will increase happiness. In fact, employees who spend time learning at work are 21 percent more likely to feel confident and happy. Development shouldn’t be confined to annual reviews. It should happen when you get your team together at weekly meetings, project check-ins and other regular interactions.

6. Provide courses that work with your employees’ schedules. Development should enhance the employee experience, not put more demands on their time. On-demand courses allow your employees to choose which courses to take, when they have time to take them.

7. Customize training for each employee. With 68% of employees preferring to learn at work, creating a customizable plan for each of them goes a log way towards keeping them happy and productive. Utilizing learning management software, you can create blended learning plans based on your needs or upload your own training courses.

8. Help employees build their networks. Networking is essential in business as it allows employees to exchange ideas, is a vehicle for new opportunities and fosters creativity. You can help your employees build their network by suggesting they join associations or local business groups. or even volunteer to sit on a local nonprofit board of directors.

9. Map your employees’ future with your company. Succession planning is of the utmost importance to retaining employees as 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career. Succession planning tools help managers map out how an employee can grow within an organization by identifying core competencies of standout employees, designing actionable development plans and implementing real-time activity tracking.

10. Form a genuine connection with your employees. For development to be successful, managers need to be connected to their employees. According to Business News Daily, building a real, personal connection with employees is vital to developing the trust needed for a strong company culture and high performance. Ask about their lives, their needs and desires to help understand what motivates them in their careers.

The Arcoro Solution

Focusing on development is easier with the right tools. Arcoro’s Performance Management, Learning Management and Succession Planning software provide companies with the ability to successfully grow their employees. These systems allow managers and HR to access goals, tasks and evaluation forms as well as a library of training materials, including OSHA-approved courses. Plus, with an employee portal, your employees can be in charge of their own training and goal progression.

Arcoro features a built-in integration that connects to top-of-class insurance carriers, ERP, payroll, HRMS, HRIS and business intelligence tools. Employees can easily access important documents, benefits statements, workflows PTO and more. With our configurable modules, you can add or remove the parts of the platform you need as your business requirements change.

The Arcoro platform was created with a modular approach, and offers innovative technology in the following categories:

Core HR
Time and Attendance
ACA Compliance