As the economy continues to improve, more opportunities are becoming available and that is creating a higher turnover rate among employees.

Happy workers (Catherine Yeulet, ThinkStock)

Nationwide, the unemployment rate fell last month from 5.5 percent to 5.4 percent. In March, 2.8 million workers quit their jobs, mostly to take on other jobs. That is the most since April 2008. As a result, many employers are offering incentives including pay raises, additional benefits and other perks to keep people from leaving.

"Companies that are smart about the market are always looking for ways and strategies on how to retain their top staff because to fill some of these roles is becoming increasingly difficult.  So, it's becoming more important to keep these individuals because replacing them can cost a lot of time and resources," said Ryan Gatto, regional vice president of the Northern New Jersey Operations with staffing firm Robert Half.

Recognizing the successes of individual workers is key, according to Gatto.

"I think people want to feel appreciated and it doesn't always have to be a monetary thing. Acknowledgment or a lunch or small gesture can go a long way. It also helps for employers to sit down and evaluate what an employees career goals are on a regular basis. It helps the worker feel like they have a partnership with their management team so everyone is on the same page when it comes to future plans for that employee within the organization," he said.

Companies that recognize that retaining talent is tough are the same ones who are proactive about comparing their current employees salaries with other offers that may be available within the same industry.

"Being competitive from a salary standpoint or from a total compensation standpoint is very important because usually when people start exploring other options, more often than not it is because of compensation. If employers can at least compete from a total compensation standpoint, they are less likely to lose some of their top talent," Gatto said.

Gatto said companies should be proactive in working to keep their employees.

"If employers are sitting back on their heels and just expecting their employees to feel appreciated and they think that they have the best culture and environment that workers are looking for, they are probably going to lose out on some top talent," he said. "It's the companies that are proactive and aggressive about constantly changing to mirror what's going on in the market or with competitors, that tend to retain individuals."

By:  Kelly Waldron

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