Are your salaries high enough to keep your top talent?

No matter how many accolades, benefits and company perks your best employees receive, they aren’t going to be really happy if they feel they are underpaid for the job they do.

With the economy on the upswing again, your best employees must be given a “compelling reason to stay,” says the Robert Half staffing agency, based on its longtime employee surveys.

Businesses that are able to maintain their strongest employee teams for long periods of time – without time repeatedly lost to hiring and orientation – are likely to have the most success.

To attract the best, your business needs to outshine the competition, the global staffing firm says. Here are Robert Half’s four recommendations for developing compensation packages that will attract – and keep – the best employees:

  1. Be sure your salaries are above average.Be aware of what the current salary levels are in your market. Then, top them, even if just slightly. Set up a structure of salary, bonuses and benefits that is ahead of the competition.
  2. Communicate your pay philosophy.Many companies fail to communicate their philosophy of pay to their employees. What does it take to get a good raise? Thoroughly train your managers and supervisor in that philosophy so they can fairly administer and explain payment policies.
  3. Re-evaluate salaries frequently.Market changes in pay levels happen frequently. Consult salary guides and other resources to ensure that your salary levels remain competitive.
  4. Develop a spot-bonus program.When employees exceed expectations, give them a bonus immediately – within a day or two – tied to that performance. On-the-spot bonuses are highly appreciated by employees as recognition for a job well done.

While it obviously takes more than money to keep employees happy, not having competitive salaries is a sure way to drive off your best talent.