How Communication Can Improve Retention

Salary increases may increase employee satisfaction, but if you really want to hold onto your employees, focus on communication. The right words at the right time can keep employees happy. And communicating costs a lot less than recruiting.

According to recruiting site ERE Media, it costs 30 to 50 percent of an entry level employee's salary to replace him or her. It costs 150 percent of a mid-level employee's salary and 400 percent of a high-level employee's salary to do the same. 

Here are a few tips to increase your employees’ satisfaction and encourage them to stick with their jobs.

Offer recognition and access to the top

Employees benefit greatly from regular communication with their managers and other company leaders. Fortunately, small businesses are positioned especially well for this, as there are fewer employees and it’s generally easier to give them face time and nurture strong relationships. 

According to the Houston Chronicle, that kind of access can significantly increase employee satisfaction – especially when managers use these opportunities to recognize employees for jobs well done. A little praise can go a long way in increasing motivation, productivity and loyalty.

Be transparent

Business News Daily spoke with Human Resources and other hiring experts to find out what keeps employees happy. According to B.J. Shannon, manager of customer happiness at employee retention firm TINYpulse, transparency is the number one factor that influences employee happiness.

She goes on to say that while money and promotions are important, employees also value knowing the truth about the state of the company. While it costs almost nothing to improve transparency, it requires an ongoing dialogue between management and staff.  

Emphasize advancement opportunities

The Houston Chronicle explained that making employees aware of internal advancement opportunities can help them be more productive in their current roles. They’ll often maximize their efforts, contribute new ideas and value their jobs more when they see opportunities for growth.

The key is to remember that it’s not enough to just create the opportunities – employees have to know about them. Communication is important here as well. 


Many employees want the chance to be heard, and a good manager creates an environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas. One way to make them feel heard is to directly ask them for input.  

Sandy Mazur, the president of Spherion Staffing Services, told Business News Daily that employers should survey their employees to determine their satisfaction. As part of the survey, employees should be able to offer suggestions for how to improve the workplace culture.