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RISMEDIA, March 9, 2007-What makes the average employee happy-other than an immediate and hefty raise plus a few extra weeks of vacation? Since companies are in business to make money, such "pie in the sky" suggestions aren't likely to fly. Adaptive Marketing has some other ideas, though, that just might help ensure that a few less valued employees "jump ship"- because they feel undervalued and under appreciated. Here are four tips suggested by Adaptive Marketing, designed specifically to promote employee retention:

— Show some love. The funny thing about loyalty is that it may be far more cut-and-dried than it seems. Meaning, those who remain loyal to a company or cause usually do so because their loyalty is returned in kind. So be prepared to show employees how appreciated their overall efforts and loyalties are-and save the empty promises. Instead, encourage incentive programs, establish "employee of the month" type awards, and create the optimum work/life balance for all.

— Make it a family thing. Business is business, but that shouldn't preclude fostering a "family" environment in the workplace. Sponsor family-oriented events outside of the office, such as company picnics and field days-even family bowling tournaments. This will promote employee pride and make people feel good about coming to work every day.

— Show 'em the money. There are ways to give monetary rewards without breaking the company budget. For example, show new employees their value early on by offering flexible and comprehensive medical insurance programs. Additionally, allow them to get started in a 401K Retirement Savings Plan as soon as possible.

— Celebrate achievements. Another part of maintaining employee loyalty is recognizing personal achievement-especially over an extended period of time. Single out employees who have been with the company for a year; five years; 10 years. A personalized letter, a thoughtful gift, even a tribute video featuring people who have served the company for 10-plus years are all sound options.

There's an old saying, "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link." To draw a parallel in terms of employee retention: A great overall plan featuring strong leadership is essentially useless without loyal and capable people to execute that plan.

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