It’s almost the new year and the economy seems to be on the upswing, meaning employees are more likely to be on a solid financial footing and ready to stay with their employers for the long haul.
Well, that’s what many HR leaders and senior executives would like to believe.
The truth, however, is that employees may be ready to look for greener pastures in the coming year. It’s a sobering lesson for business leaders, as we often equate economic growth with stability. However, when a solid economy is abuzz, employees are quick to recognise that many industries will expand, and with that growth comes bigger, better and more lucrative jobs.
So just because your entry-level employee is engaged, don’t expect that to translate to loyalty when a rival recruits him or her to an advanced position.
This is a major concern for staffing and HR professionals. In fact, it’s often their biggest concern. A recent Harris Poll survey for Career Builder found that 32 percent of companies believe retaining and recruiting talent will be their biggest challenge in 2015. That was the top response by far cited by survey respondents.
Despite some economic growth in recent years, companies are still struggling to put enough aside to invest in employee engagement and retention programs.
“Many companies are still struggling to regain footing that was lost during the GFC recession,” says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “Only 28 percent of employers reported that their business has returned to normal or is better than it was before 2007.
Staff retention and productivity issues are top of mind as companies deal with constricting budgets, reorganisation and long vacancies, and should look to engage with current and potential employees in a more meaningful way.
When staff turnover is high, organisations are forced to spend excessive amounts of money on recruitment and onboarding to fill vacant positions.
More importantly, excessive staff turnover can have a domino effect, according to Bob Corlett of The Business Journals. “Once your top departmental manager leaves, his or her assistant , or worse, the team, might follow them out of the door, leaving staff in dire need of leadership and experience” said Bob.
Despite the still tenuous state of finances at many companies, creating quality engagement strategies doesn’t necessarily mean breaking the bank.
Although companies will definitely need to invest time and money into the process, doing so could actually help companies save money in the long run. Shrewd investments will go a long way toward ensuring retention rates remain high. Here are three ways your business can take cost-effective steps to retain employees.
- Develop their skills
If you were to sit down with an entry-level employee to discuss his or her future, you would probably scratch your head if the worker expressed staying in his or her current role forever as a goal. However, once that junior staffer leaves your organisation, you’re suddenly surprised that he or she accepted a better role with another company.
The fact is you need to recognise that employees value a defined career path and a chance to advance to better roles. Even if it means losing some employees once they become more talented, executives and HR teams should invest in their employees skills in any way possible. Traditional training, mentoring programs and simply sitting down to discuss workers’ future plans in a relaxed setting can help boost retention rates.
- Monitor their performance
Part of the process of developing employees’ skills is determining which talents they need to sharpen. Just as you wouldn’t necessarily see an accountant working on his or her sales skills, it doesn’t make sense to develop a salesperson’s IT talents.
By monitoring performance, you can figure out which skills certain professionals need to develop.
While it’s not always an easy task, creating a defined system to track sales, customer service or production data can be significantly beneficial.
- Recognise their performance and contribution
Staff recognition is important, and very few companies do it well. Instant recognition is the most powerful. The longer you leave it to say “thank you” ‘well done” or “great job” the less impact it has.
Employees want to feel valued, appreciated, respected and part of the corporate vision. Recognition for contribution towards company values is a great place to start.
Utilising technology to formally recognise (points based) or informally recognise (non-points based or social recognition using images) will improve the process and efficiency of your recognition program, and will help you deliver performance and efficiency improvements that can be measured.
At Brownie Points we help you to leverage your investment in your key competitive advantage – your staff.
To learn how we can help your business or to arrange a free demonstration, call us today on 03 9909 7411 or email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org