How To Retain Employees For The Service Industry

December 31st, 2015

Group of Construction Workers | Service Industry


The service industry—specifically plumbing, HVAC, appliance repair and construction—is very competitive and requires special technical skills. Consequently, it suffers from high turnover rates.

For contactors, the demand for work hinges on quite a few factors, so it should come as little surprise that the workers in this industry seem to drift in and out as the economic winds blow. For companies in the service industry, however, the high turnover rate poses an ongoing problem.

Time is Money

The turnover issue is not merely an inconvenience—it costs time, and time is money. Estimates say turnover costs range between 25%-250% of annual salary per exiting employee. Many of the costs of high turnover are somewhat hidden, difficult to quantify, and varies among companies. Finding new employees is a combination of costs: the job listing itself, training expenses, uniforms, and qualitative endeavors such as time spending a new employee, scheduling around a lost employee, time interviewing new applicants, time training the new employee, and productivity lost between the old and new employee.

Strategies for Retaining Current Employees

The best way to avoid having to hire new employees is by retaining your current ones. Protect your assets (your employees) by doing the following:

Communicate Openly

Creating a warm, open work environment for employees creates a positive and lasting staff culture. Give employees plenty of opportunities to submit feedback, whether through surveys or meetings. Measuring how employees feel about their jobs can help you gauge the health of your company and ensure employee contentment remains at high levels.

Be A Supportive Employer

It’s important to show employees that you care. Take a bit of time each week to connect with employees at a personal level.

Provide a Clear Path of Advancement

No one wants a job that is stagnant. Provide a clear path of advancement, so more ambitious employees know that they have room to grow.

Strategies for Retaining New Employees

Transitioning to a new workplace is always tough, and it always takes some time to feel comfortable, but as an employer, you can ease the tension with a few strategies:

Plan an orientation period.

 Help your new employees adjust. Having a planned orientation period shows that you’re on top of your new hires and that you care about them.

Strategize when to start the employee.

Try to start new employees on a slower day or during a slow week. This will help insulate them and get them adjusted to the new workplace without feeling overwhelmed.

Provide the new employee with a guide or mentor.

Assign each new employee a more experienced employee as a guide or mentor.

Follow up with employees

Personally follow up with your new hires. They’ll appreciate it, and you’ll be able to see if your new employees are being productive.

Provide Benefits

Provide a comprehensive benefits package. Examples include health insurance, paid sick leave, paid holidays, work retreats, longer breaks, work lunches, and others. Good benefits coupled with at-work perks make for an alluring workspace employees won’t want to leave!


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