It has been estimated that the cost of replacing just one engineer is equivalent to half a year’s salary. This can be a hefty sum when considering that the average professional engineer earns between $43,000 to $160,000 USD annually (US-DOL 2010 statistics). In order to retain your top engineers and maintain personnel costs, an HR department must thing ahead and be proactive with retention initiatives. Here are 4 retention steps to consider.
Reward and Recognize Your Engineers – A company that retains engineers and other higher level professionals understands the critical nature of providing employee incentives for a job well done. While a paycheck is good enough for some, for most it’s not sufficient because dedicated professionals also look for positive feedback and recognition. This is especially true for engineers who work hard to design things and then expect a little praise for their genius. Take the time to develop consistent reward and recognition programs in order to retain your top engineers.
Provide Succession Planning – Even the most progressive company needs to stimulate its best minds through a program to promote its best engineers. This is an important step in the evolution of any company. Having a clear path for promoting within is often a deterrent to disloyalty among the brightest employees. Give engineers opportunities to work on higher level projects and encourage further education and certification to encourage them to stay aboard.
Know Your Top Players – As part of your company growth, it’s important to always stay abreast of the inherent skills of all your employees, but especially your top players. Maintain a list of the best engineers you have, then seek projects that will keep them engaged and challenged to stick with the company for the long term. Invest in these folks as they are the ticket to success as your company expands.
Seek Regular Employee Feedback – How can you know what your best engineers need unless you take the time to ask them? A good way to know what’s going on with your top employees is to ask for frequent feedback from all employees. Conduct a 360-degree survey at least once a year and invite employees to share their honest thoughts and ideas. Remember, people don’t leave jobs, they leave because of poor management, so use this information to improve training of supervisors.
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