Stop the Revolving Door

When I first moved to Chicago, I found an awesome apartment with two friends. We were living on our own, for the first time in the big city, and we had two floors and a garage and a killer back yard with a giant grill. It was pretty much the dream of any 22-year-old college grad.

But then, the real world set in. After a few months, one of the guys missed Iowa too much and decided to move back home. So my roommate and I were left with an empty room in a great apartment.

You’d think it would have been easy to fill that space. But the next three years were a revolving door of roommates: a chiropractor, a teacher, a college freshman spending the summer taking improv classes at Second City who spent late nights playing the guitar on the back deck, another chiropractor, and finally another teacher. And that’s not counting the three other prospective roommates who backed out at the last second and left us with a larger rent check for that month.

The Consequences

A high turnover rate comes at a huge cost. Some studies have found that it costs an average of six to nine months’ salary every time a business replaces a salaried employee. That means a manager making $40K a year will cost $20K-$30K to replace. Other studies have predicted that number could be even higher. The Center for American Progress found that losing a salaried employee can cost up to two times their annual salary, especially for a high-earner or executive level employee. Between the costs of recruiting, training, onboarding, temporary hires and separation costs, this can add up quickly. In fact, companies who are continuously onboarding and failing to retain new employees are losing millions of dollars a year.

My roommate and I certainly spent plenty of time looking for new roommates. Posting ads on craigslist,, interviewing friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends. It turned out to be a full time job, and it didn’t always yield the best results (e.g. the improv student who drank all the rum right before he moved out). And there were way too many months where I had to pay half of the rent, instead of one third.

In addition to the loss of money, companies get hit in other ways, including lost productivity. It typically takes a new employee 1-2 years to reach the productivity level of an existing employee. Additionally, companies can see a loss of engagement: when other employees start to notice the high turnover, they can tend to disengage from the company. There’s also a cultural impact that happens with a high turnover rate. When one employee leaves, other employees start to ask why. 

In case you’re wondering why people kept moving out, I’m blaming it on the fact that the third bedroom was right off of the living room, and my other roommate was on the couch every night watching the Sci-Fi network. Also, people kept getting married. As a result, our retention rate was roughly 66% each year. This could also be why I now live alone.

How’s Yours?

To calculate your company’s retention rate, just divide the number of employees who left during a period by the total number of employees at the end of the period. A healthy employee retention rate is considered to be 85% or higher. 

If your retention rate could use some work, consider taking a look at your benefits package. Are you offering the bare minimum health insurance? What about pre-tax allowances like parking or commuter benefits? And don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Investing your money into a concierge program like Errand Solutions can improve retention rates drastically. In just the first year of service, one Errand Solutions client experienced a 2% reduction in attrition. 

For more information on Errand Solutions and our solutions aimed to help your employee retention, give us a call at 312.475.3800 or email

Posted by Micky & Jackie

7 Innovative Benefits That Will Help You Snag Top Talent

With the millennial mindset entering today’s market full throttle, skilled employees view new jobs as opportunities for growth, and won’t hesitate to take their talent elsewhere. In fact, a recent Talent Management study issued that a third of new hires leave their job by month six!

But don’t fret – there’s something you can do! Check out these retention strategies that can drastically reduce staff turnover, while channeling employee engagement, innovation, and creativity.

1. Create an Inclusive and Innovative Company Culture

Your company culture should be an experience in and of itself. Today, an exceptional culture is just as vital to employee satisfaction and retention as a high paying salary.

How do you build a strong company culture? Strive to create an environment in which “office drama” is minimized, and collaboration and communication are encouraged.

Respect and encourage creativity and innovation. Make sure everyone gets recognition for good ideas and hard work. Encourage people to think outside the box. Even if a particular solution isn’t currently feasible, remain encouraging and upbeat.

2. Revamp Your Hiring Process

Employees and companies have to be the right cultural fit for each other. Start by choosing the right talent! By onboarding an employee that will “mesh” with fellow teammates, you’ll leverage the productivity and group harmony of your business. Your new hires will most likely be happy in their role in a supportive environment, and the risk of staff turnover will gradually decrease.

3. Make Sure Your Benefits Package Is Up To Date

According to the US Incentive Federation, US businesses spend $90 billion a year on non-cash incentives, up 17% from 2013.

Be it traditional healthcare and retirement packages, or non-traditional gym memberships and tuition reimbursement, benefits are a vital consideration to prospective employees and the baseline for retention.

Consider small benefits, such as food discounts, pet insurance, or an errand running service. Offering perks is often quite affordable, and can generate a lot of appreciation among staff. Don’t know where to get started? Get in touch. We make rocking benefits easy.

4. Reward Hard Work and Exceptional Performance

Rewards and incentives can drive productivity. By acknowledging and supporting the employees who go above and beyond, you also encourage their coworkers to contribute. There are many ways to reward employees!

Provide your employees with regular feedback and recognition for their hard work. Of course, monetary incentives are a plus, but raises or promotions aren’t always an option. Don’t let that stop you from acknowledging your employees’ accomplishments! Everyone appreciates a personalized verbal or written kudos from their boss. This also strengthens the bond between you and your employee.

5. Discourage Micromanagement

Micromanagement, especially pertaining to incoming millennial talent, can be toxic to a work environment and employee retention. Often, the micromanager’s mentality – and drive for productivity – is well-intended, but unfortunately can result in annoyed, disengaged employees who feel like their bosses don’t trust them. Many employees may be tempted to look for greener pastures where they will be able to take on more responsibility.

Whether or not a staff leader can perform better than a subordinate, a “just let me do it” or “do it this way” mentality can hinder employee growth, innovation and morale. When training your management staff, focus on leadership and mentoring skills, and hire managers who want the best for their team, not to be the best player.

6. The Right Type of Management Is Still Needed

Eliminating micromanagement doesn’t mean eliminating management entirely. Managers must provide feedback, guidance, and organize their team, but with an approach that empowers employees rather than stifles them.

Quarterly one-on-ones are an excellent way to communicate and collaborate while still giving employees room to perform individually.

The role of a manager is not to be the smartest, or most capable person in the room; their job is to build high performing teams. Doing so will increase engagement, encourage innovation, and help establish a work dynamic employees want to stay in.

7. Do Exit Interviews

Turnover is inevitable; even in the highest-paying, most sought after companies, employees are going to leave. Consider it a learning experience: understanding why your employees are leaving can prevent others from walking out the door.

If an employee gives notices, plan an exit interview before they leave. Having a neutral party, such as an HR employee, conduct the interview, is often the most reciprocated dynamic.

Turnover is Inevitable, But You Can Improve Retention Rates

Understanding what keeps employees engaged, motivated, and satisfied is vital to attracting prospective hires, and retaining top-talent. While employees will inevitably change careers, needs, or locations, you can improve your retention rates through conscious effort. Many organizations are currently refocusing their retention strategies, and have implemented small-scale benefits such as Errand Solutions to create the “work-life balance” many young employees value. Building a value-based, team-driven, company culture, and rewarding your employees with benefits, bonuses and simple appraisals, is an excellent place to start.