Keep employees around without paying them more

Flickr user anitakhart

(MoneyWatch) As the economy recovers, some members of your team may be on the prowl for other jobs. They may be looking at deep-pocketed competitors who can pay them more.

What can you do?

The answer, according to a recent Accenture survey, may be pretty simple: give people flexible work arrangements. They'll love you, even if they don't love the job.

Accenture's recent survey, done in advance of International Women's Day, found that more than half of executives are dissatisfied with their jobs. Yet 64 percent cited flexible work arrangements as a reason to stay in a job that's not ideal.

This makes sense. There are lots of things we'd like to have in our jobs: high pay, good perks, opportunity for advancement, challenge, great coworkers, etc. But there are also lots of things we'd like in the rest of our lives: the ability to skip the commute on occasion, to work later one day so we can take a Friday off, the ability to go to a Thursday afternoon track meet as long as we can get our work done. When you start a new job, there's often a lot of pressure to put in face time. A flexible arrangement is worth big bucks to people -- even if they're working the same amount of hours overall.

So if you suspect someone is perusing Monster.com on her lunch hour, try asking if she'd like to work from home two days per week. You just might solve that problem with no money out the door at all.

Image courtesy of Flickr user anitakhart.