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Posted on: December 6, 2018

Employee retention efforts paying off for City

Efforts by the City of Minot to improve employee retention are proving to be successful, according to information provided at the Dec. 3 City Council meeting by City Manager Tom Barry.

In 2017, the City’s turnover rate was 14.87 percent. That translated to a cost of more than $3.4 million to the City when accounting for lost training, downtime, replacement and recruitment costs, and increased overtime.

In 2018, the City’s turnover has been reduced to 12.56 percent, a fall of 2.31 percent. City officials report improvement in the quality and number of applicants, and a noticeable improvement in employee morale.

The employee retention efforts have had other tangible effects, too: The Minot Police Department is fully staffed for the first time in more than two years, and the Minot Fire Department is within three employees of being fully staffed. The Engineering Department is fully staffed for the first time in two years.

In an effort to continue the positive trends from 2018, the City developed a comprehensive workforce improvement plan that was approved by the City Council as part of the 2019 budget. The plan, which added $567,837 to the budget, includes several new components:

  • Tuition reimbursement program
  • Voluntary flex spending account
  • Add Martin Luther King Jr. day as a holiday
  • Increase vacation accrual rate
  • Increase vacation accrual rollover
  • Improve health care plan contribution
  • Offer NDPERS for retirement benefit

“We’re investing in our employees, and that investment is paying dividends,” Barry said. “With the comprehensive workforce improvements we’ve made heading into 2019, we expect those positive changes to continue.”

The 2.31 percent turnover reduction in 2018 will save enough money in turnover costs to essentially pay for the components of the workforce improvement plan. If the turnover rate continues to improve as projected, the City would save approximately $567,837 for every 2 percent reduction in the turnover rate.

The City has established a target of 9 percent turnover rate moving forward.

Minot’s number of full-time employees is low when measured against averages for both North Dakota and the nation. The City of Minot has 84.8 full-time employees for every 10,000 in population; the North Dakota average is 142 FTE per 10,000 in population, while the national average is 145.3 employees.

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