With life back in the job market, some top employees are contemplating leaving for better offers or more fulfilling challenges making the proactive role of management and human resources more vital. Individuals are more apt to seriously consider a job change if they feel they are not appreciated, not seeing the growth they desire or simply aren’t enjoying their position/work environment. Today, it is becoming increasingly important for companies to focus on being as proactive as possible in retaining top performers.

Regular employee surveys are a wonderful tool to garner employee satisfaction as well as monitor key elements that employees value in the workplace. To be effective, surveys should be performed by a third party and all employees should be assured their answers will be kept anonymous. However, be advised that you should implement regular employee surveys only if management truly intends to listen to the results and make a positive change where they are able; otherwise, surveys can backfire. Used effectively, this tool can enhance retention significantly with upper management’s quick response to employee concerns.

Now is also the time to restore some of those non-monetary, non-traditional perks for employees. Telecommuting – even once a week after a trial period – has become very popular in today’s work culture. In addition to those fringe benefits, maintaining a policy of no salary increases or bonuses is potentially putting you at risk. Employees may have understood when times were lean and were thankful to just keep their jobs; however, many have been feeling overworked and underpaid and will be the first to look at new opportunities, especially if should they fall into their laps.

Now is a great time to enhance your employee recognition program as a valuable retention tool. Often, employees simply want to know they make a difference and are valued. These program enhancements could include awards, gym memberships, catered meals or company trips. Academic reimbursements are also popular tools today as companies strive to ensure employee top talent growth.

Those companies that choose to look at retention strategies and ways to ensure their company culture is positive will have the greatest chance of keeping their best employees. They will be the winners as the opportunity and hard cost of turnover is not cheap!