Chances are, you’ve seen a movie or heard a story that goes like this: Two people get together and things are great. They challenge each other, they both grow, their connection is strong. Then, time passes. One partner settles into a rut, and “just stops trying,” assuming everything is fine. The other person starts wondering if the grass might actually be greener…and eventually leaves to find out for themselves. 

What could have made all the difference in that relationship was actively engaging one another to check in, make sure their goals are aligned, emotions are understood, and they felt heard.  

Unfortunately, this is a very relatable story when it comes to the world of HR with employees and employers.

Employees losing interest or excitement for their company due to lack of employer interaction or compensation is commonplace. And ‘attrition’ is sadly a common word for HR teams. 

We all know that recovering from the loss of an employee takes time, energy and, for employers, creates a significant financial burden. According to Gallup, replacing existing workers costs one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary. Assuming average salaries, replacement costs could translate to anywhere from $25,000 – $100,000 per employee. 

Worse yet, for employers, is the tale of the “boomerang” employee, who leaves to seek those greener pastures only to come back to their original employer, but this time at a higher salary. The time, funds, and effort the employer goes through here could have been used instead to retain the employee in the first place. 

There’s no way to control the process completely, but by engaging employees not just at the start of employment, but consistently throughout each year, managers take a strong step towards saving themselves and their organization the pain of attrition. 

Actively engaging employees is crucial to keeping good talent from looking elsewhere. Another Gallup report finds that fifty-two percent of existing employees say that their manager or organization could have done something to prevent them from leaving their job. And engaging with employees doesn’t need to be elaborate to be effective. Simple things like starting team meetings with kudos or mission moments make a difference. Practicing empathy and actively listening to employee concerns can be incredibly meaningful.

An especially impactful way to increase employee engagement and decrease attrition is to offer immediately usable compensation tied to a retention plan. A vesting cash bonusupfront compensation that vests over time – gives employees a lump sum to use towards meaningful expenses (down payment on a home, making a dent in student loans, investing in retirement funds, etc.) and motivates them to stay longer and contribute more.  

Including compensation like a Keep vesting cash bonus in your HR toolkit shows employees that they are valued now and in the future.