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Building retention into your strategic plan is a great way to boost your profit margins without increasing your expenses. Partnering with your employees can generate profits long after you’ve hired them. You can pay someone enough to work for you, but can you get them to want to work for you? With the right strategies, yes, you can.

Regardless of your industry, from advertising to construction, you can partner with your team by building relationships that will create a culture of engaged employees, boost productivity and increase your profit margins.

Here are 5 tips to help you boost your balance sheet:

Start with what you know: No matter what the current state of affairs is, at one time, your current employees were excited about coming to work for your company. Bring back that excitement! What were they told about working for your company? Are you the leader that they were promised? Have you kept your promises to them?

What Gets Measured Gets Improved: When I consult with my corporate clients, the first thing we look at is the percentage of voluntary turnover per department. If you aren’t measuring your voluntary turnover, you are not alone. I have worked with Fortune 500 companies, that don’t measure voluntary turnover.   I was working with a CEO of a global construction firm and he told me “We don’t have a turnover problem”, and his VP of Operations said, “It’s a revolving door around here”. The cost of replacing an employee can go as high as 200% of their salary. People aren’t on the balance sheet, and they are the single most unpredictable variable that will directly impact your profits. If you’d like to measure the cost of your own voluntary turnover, click here for my free retention calculator.

 Create Opportunities for Growth: Recently I was coaching an executive who wanted to attend additional training and was getting push back from senior leadership. As an entrepreneur, you want the best of the best working for you, if you’re worried that if you train people too well they might leave then you shouldn’t have them in the first place. Richard Branson said, train people well enough so they can leave, but treat them well enough so they don’t.

Play Outside the Box: Knowing how your employees connect means you have the “Employee All Star” playbook. In my work in Proclivities, I decoded the Science of Connection. Connection is an instinct while communication is a learned behavior. Rewarding employees in their Proclivity means they will be more engaged and excited about the work they are doing. Give a Player Proclivity half-a-day off and a gift certificate to indoor rock climbing and you’ve just invested $100.00 to get employee loyalty you can’t pay for.

Work Outside the Box: It’s great to reward an employee in their Proclivity, but it’s just as important to discipline them in it too. Most employee handbooks are written so the very first disciplinary action is a verbal reprimand. That is only maximally effective on the Y’er Proclivity and occasionally, the Artist Proclivity. For the Lighter Proclivity, a written warning that has the same offense ranking as a verbal warning will be much more effective. It doesn’t have to be formal either; it can be a hand-written note, an email or something on company letterhead. If the Lighter Proclivity doesn’t “see it” it’s not real and therefore not adhered to. If you haven’t taken the Proclivities assessment yet, click here, it’s free for a limited time and you can have your team take it too.

As an entrepreneur, you have enough headaches keeping you up at night. Constantly hiring new people doesn’t have to be one of them.   Increasing your profits doesn’t have to mean taking on more expenses to generate revenue; you have a revenue-generating machine right in front of you.   With the right tools, it doesn’t take long to create a culture of employees who want to work for you.

Seanlai is CEO of The Retention Experts and is an internationally known speaker, author, coach and consultant. She is the founder of Proclivities:Science of Connection and Seanlai helps companies and individuals connect and strengthen leadership, retain talent and increase their profitability. Her new book, The Mysterious Power will be available in stores 2nd Quarter 2016. Connect directly with Seanlai at or  via twitter

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