How to Stop Employee Turnover with Incentives and Empathy

Posted on October 6, 2014






Without your employees, your business collapses. More so, without experienced employees (you know, those that stay with you for long periods of time), you spend more time and money recruiting, training, managing, and monitoring. Consider, for instance, the cost of employee turnover as told by the Center of American Progress.

  • Across jobs, replacing an employee costs between 10 and 30 percent of an employee’s annual salary.
  • 1/5 of workers voluntarily leave their jobs every year and an additional 1/6 are fired or otherwise let go.

So it’s vital that you, as operator, keep your staff happy.

Year after year, businesses are faced with the nightmare of high employee turnover. Sure, some employees may go. But you can decrease employee turnover with this rule: show your benefits, be empathetic.

So follow these 6 steps. You’ll find top talent staying longer (much longer) than you expected.

1. Prescription: Ensure your Employees are Top Talent.


Before you connect with employees, you need to make sure they deserve whatever care, praise, or rewards you give them.

In other words, you need to find top talent.

Bear in mind that the driven are more easily encouraged, so first and foremost is this duty: find enthusiastic workers who are ready to receive training and orders.

These types of people are hard to discern, so interview questions that emphasize the importance of motivation in a work setting are sure to reveal those much sought-after passionate people. Remember that each employee has a different “intelligence,” so createinterview questions that reveal this intelligence. 

While the potential employee’s type of intelligence is valuable, so is his attitude. So find out why he wants the position offered. A good attitude is easier found than molded, so do yourself a favor and be on the lookout for those who you know will do the job right—those who see it as their career path, understand business and service, and can solve problems.

Remember that these types of workers are typically flexible and fast learners, so be sure to develop their skills with cross training. It’s always helpful to have a staff skilled in many areas, especially on the days when your staff is few!

2. Set the Course: Give a Clear Mission.


Before you announce any “prize,”the incentives, lay down the rules of your business or the “game.” From the start, share the mission of your business. Employees need to know what you want before they can go after it. 

On a side note, outlining your philosophies outright will also aid in determining who is most compatible with you. Some may not like the stipulations, but don’t be discouraged if they leave. This is your business after all, and this is all about securing those who work best for you.

And of course, after you’ve set the guidelines, raise their spirits. Just as an athlete in competition, an employee will do his very best only when there is an atmosphere of excitement and high morale. Get your team in the zone with high performance standards which will make excellence an expectation and foster support for one another.

3. Create a Desire to Work: Post Benefits Online


Now, you may have selected the most dedicated crew you could ever hope for, but you must consider that it’s always in human nature to ask: “What’s in it for me?”

So, always create an incentive. You can create incentive by sharing your business’s benefits.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. My business doesn’t have many benefits. But benefits don’t have to be monetary. You could have benefits associated with your location. For instance, you could be close to neighborhoods (incentive: easy drive to work), or you could be located downtown on a square (incentive: meet the locals). Or maybe you have beautiful sunsets. Think outside the box here and find what makes your business unique.

Next, post your benefits online.

4. Retain Employees Longer: Pay Well.


Now comes the entire reason for this “game” that is the success or your business: the prize at the end.

While controversial in quick-service industries, paying a competitive wage with competitive benefits is important in that it shows your team members that you value them. 

In all fairness, good work should always mean a good reward. So show your employees their hard work means something by offering the incentive of pay above the bare minimum which can only increase with increased performance.

5. Navigate Conflict Effectively: Respect your Employees.


But incentive isn’t entirely what keeps employees on-board. Just as you expect a good attitude from your employees, they appreciate a good attitude from you.

Therefore, remember your employees are human. They are each valuable and not easily replaced, so let them know this. Treat your employees with respect and they will return respect not just to you, but to the customers they serve as well.

Respect, then, is of upmost importance.

Also, never forget that respect means acknowledging that each and every one of your team members matters in your restaurant’s success. Tell them, especially if they are lower-wage workers. They’ll never know their importance otherwise.

6. Retain Employees for Life: Show them you Care.


And last is the most basic and most vital aspect of showing your employees you care: compliment them on a job well done whenever possible—formally and individually. Show you are personal and empathize, for this is what matters to people the most. Never forget that it is not the operations that make your business, but the people who make those operations possible.

Your people are everything, so do everything you can not to lose them.

Need Hiring Help? Try LocalMark.

If you agree with us–incentives and empathy matter–then you’ll like LocalMark. LocalMark always you to find top talent by posting available positions, accepting online applications, and revealing your benefits.

But talk means nothing without action. Try LocalMark today and find out for yourself!


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