Help employees stay put

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A. Maintaining good employee morale is always important, but it is especially critical during these tough economic times. As our economy recovers and new opportunities emerge, our top performers may be sought after by other firms.

Employers need to place a greater focus on maintaining employee morale. Practice a consistent method of communicating to your staff about the company's strategic plan and how each department will play a role in the success of the plan.

Be sure there is enough staff to maintain productivity. Are managers having to step in and handle the day-to-day tasks? Is overtime increasing? Have strategic projects been put on the back burner? Are service levels and work quality showing signs of deteriorating? Be aware that these may be signs that you may need to hire more staff.

Don't forget to include some simple companywide "perks." If your company's dress guidelines include casual Fridays,  announce other days throughout the year when employees can adopt the more relaxed Friday dress.

Remember to recognize individual employee accomplishments on a regular basis to the entire staff. Show your employees that you not only value and appreciate their team efforts, but that you recognize the individual talents, knowledge and skills of each employee that make your team successful. Be sure to recognize employees at all levels.

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, employees leave. So, if you do not have a formal succession plan in place, now is the time to implement one. Be sure you have a training program in place that will allow your organization to promote from within. Task each of your managers with selecting and training their own right-hand person. This will be important in the event that you do lose a key member of your team.

Michele Faulkner is the human resources manager at Merits Health Products. Reach her at or 239-772-0579, ext. 268.