What’s the biggest threat to retaining talented employees? We have the answer. 

It is this: How much it would cost them to stay loyal to your company.

Generally, employees get a raise of in the neighborhood of 10% to 20% when they switch jobs.

Compare that to the average 3% raise employees will earn this year for staying with their present employers and you begin to see just why people are so eager to jump ship.

Top talent most susceptible

Of course, not all workers can leave and get a 10% pay bump, but you can bet your best employees can.

Plus, recent pay freezes — followed by the economy’s shaky recovery — have made employees want to take every advantage of the earning power they have while they still have it.

New buzzword: Inboarding

So what’s an employer to do?

Enter the latest strategy in boosting retention: inboarding.

Yes, it’s another fancy buzzword for you to remember, but this one has some legs, says business management consultants David Sturt and Todd Nordstrom of the O.C. Tanner Institute, an employee rewards firm.

Inboarding is the act of creating growth opportunities for your existing employees, and Sturt and Nordstrom recently wrote on Forbes.com about some of the best ways companies use it to stave off turnover.

Here they are:

Hiring from within

A lot of companies feel they foster growth by promoting top employees. But you can take things so much further than that.

Example: Set up a system in which employees can express their interests in other areas of the company.

Then, when an opening pops up in one of those areas, the system flags the employee as a possible candidate.

Several cutting edge companies (Google, among them) have already adopted similar practices.

Breaking down silos

Create projects that break down departmental walls, and invite talented employees to lead them.

This gets them outside the confines of their usual roles and makes them feel they’re growing.

Showing their impact

Employees become a lot more passionate about their work (17 times more passionate, according to O.C. Tanner research) when they can see the impact it has on others.

When was the last time you arranged for your behind-the-scenes superstars to speak directly to your customers?

Rubbing elbows

The more connected an employee is to the people around him or her, the harder it is for the person to leave.

That’s why it’s so important to create ways to build camaraderie between co-workers, as well as between managers and subordinates.

It sounds simple, but it’s true: The more employees rub elbows with each other and upper management, the more attached they’ll get to your company.

Plus, the relationships forged can lead to growth opportunities within the organization.

Stopping to appreciate good work

Sturt and Nordstrom have built careers around employee recognition, so they’re obviously big believers in it.

But they offer up a very compelling stat to back up their beliefs: 79% of nearly 100,000 managers and employees said in a poll they’ve quit jobs because they felt unappreciated.

So it’s crucial to make sure those in leadership roles recognize their staffers’ great work.

Cite:The ‘Inboarding’ Revolution: Do Employees Get More To Leave Their Job?” by David Sturt and Todd Nordstrom, Forbes, 8/8/14.

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