Although we are an executive staffing and recruiting firm and specialize in finding the best fit for candidate and employer, we feel we’d be doing our readers a disservice if we don’t address an issue many companies would like to be better at: employee retention. Executives and HR representatives are always looking for ways to reduce turnover.

Clearly a competitive salary, benefits package and other financial incentives are integral in keeping your employees happy. But as 2011 comes around the corner, we’d like to share a few lesser-known tips that could help keep smiles on your employees’ faces.

Develop a path for employees to follow. Your employees will certainly remain happier and more motivated if they understand the company’s efforts to promote from within and to foster development whenever possible. Training programs, seminars, or financial reimbursement for employees pursuing further education can all help employees to see a future in your company.

Offer incentives and perks. There’s no question that incentives spur motivation… but there’s more to it than annual raises and other larger financial incentives. Daily, weekly and monthly perks can do wonders to ease the day-to-day stress of employees. From free breakfasts to gift card giveaways, company parties to milestone recognitions—these are relatively inexpensive ways to keep your employees engaged and active. If you’re looking for more long-term ideas, consider promoting work/life balance with optional benefits, on-site workout equipment, and more.

Allow for better communication. A major setback in employee morale can be the lack of communication between managers and employees. Create an open forum for discussion, whether it be weekly staff meetings or occasional one-on-one conversations. Also, don’t hesitate to find out why your long-term employees enjoy working with your company. Find out what you’re doing right and continue to work towards fixing what can be improved. Company-wide newsletters, updates and more are critical, as well.

We understand that larger companies are better able to offer incentives and conveniences than smaller companies. But there is no shortage of ways to keep your employees happy and reduce turnover. What other methods do you have for retaining your employees?