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Employee Retention is a Huge Issue

For the third year in a row, Employee Retention and turnover emerged as the top issues facing HR leaders today in this SHRM/Globoforce Survey. Among the top solutions companies feel may positively address the issue of retention are a suite of initiatives referred to as “Human-Centered” programs. These include: initiatives around positive relationships and teamwork, creating a compassionate, caring culture, employee appreciation, learning and growth opportunities, and creating an inclusive culture.

Looking at additional sources, and listening to our employer clients and job candidates, we’ve found these additional key elements to successful retention and reduced turnover:

Trust: When management embraces transparency with employees, trust increases. Employers who share and explain the data get an increased level of buy-in and loyalty from their people.

Clarity: Uncertainty creates uneasiness. Employees want to know how the company is really doing, and more importantly, what their personal, specific, measurable goals will do to impact the company’s performance. When you can see personally how your work affects the big picture, you can become more personally invested in the result.

Empowerment: The empowerment word has been buzzing through the ears of corporate leaders for decades, but has the buzz been translated into action? We hear from many management level individuals who have had their autonomy and authority reduced by acquisitions, changes in leadership, etc. This de-motivates them, and they seek to leave. True empowerment creates pride and ownership in one’s work, increasing employee satisfaction and productivity.

Recognition: The SHRM/Globoforce Survey found that employee recognition of all types works to improve retention, but that funded recognition programs work better. Points systems that lead to monetary rewards or gift cards work well, and motivate better productivity as well as helping with retention. And, buy that birthday lunch! Most employees love to have their life events celebrated.

Leadership: True leaders have followers. They believe in what you are doing, and are happy to be along for the ride. If you are the kind of boss employees love working for, that helps. If you bully, or come across as a detached tyrant, your people will want to leave.

Development: Employees at every level want to know what their next step up will be. Internal development, training, cross-training all help both you and your employee. Skills development coupled with a specific growth path for each person will ensure they can see their own future, at your company.

Another recent survey by a major executive search firm found that 10-25% of new management hires will leave with six months. Other industry analysts say that at any firm with over 100 employees, approximately a third of the workforce is looking at any given time. We are at almost full employment. Talent will be harder to find, and challenging to keep. Take a look at what you can do to improve your retention program, or, you may be calling us for the replacement search when a key person leaves!