According to a new study, New Jersey employers can reap the rewards by showing some love to their employees.

Frustrated worker (Photo credit: Ingram Publishing, ThinkStock)

The research from Abel HR examined the best ways for bosses to build loyalty and retain their top workers.

As New Jersey's job market improves, employees have more options for other opportunities elsewhere, which can lead to an expensive and lengthy back-fill process for employers.

"Employee loyalty is becoming a scarce commodity in this workplace," said Jim Bell Sr., founder and president of Abel HR. "It makes much better sense to take better care of the people you have within your organization and bring them up to their maximum output."

According to the study, there are five key tactics to increase employee retention:

  1. Create clear job descriptions;
  2. Promote career paths;
  3. On-going performance reviews;
  4. Anticipate needs; and
  5. Invest in training

Bell points out that employee retention not only improves productivity and morale, but it also impacts the bottom line for companies.

"It helps your bottom line immensely, simply because it can cost up to 25 percent to replace somebody," Bell said.

Once someone is hired, costs of the onboarding process include paperwork time, reference and background checks.

"Good employees are becoming harder and harder to find," he said.

Bell said the time and morale costs associated with current employees, who are picking up the extra work while a new employees is sought and trained, needs to be factored into the equation. There is also the adjustment time needed by the new worker.

The study finds that employers can increase employee retention and reduce talent-search costs by showing they care.

"Don't hire somebody for a job," Bell said. "When you bring somebody on-board, try to give them a career path."