Research conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the average American would hold around 11.3 jobs during their working years. This number is continuing to rise, especially within the millennial demographic.
You may be wondering, “Why is retention a bad thing? Don’t we want to continuously bring in new talent and ideas?” In some cases yes, but you must also consider the cost poor retention has on your business. Hiring a new employee costs money. You need to advertise for the new position, set aside time for interviewing, screening, and the hiring process. The new recruit also needs to be trained, which may take a couple weeks pending the level of training needed. The training staff also needs to be compensated for their time.
There are also the implicit costs to consider. A new recruit might take an average of 1 to 2 years to reach the productivity level of an existing staff member. They need time to adjust to their new role and to become accustom to the business culture and employees they will now be working with.
There is also the potential for lost engagement among other employees. If current employees see high turnover rates they are more likely to become disengaged in their own work and more likely to leave themselves. This will only add to the issues previously stated above.
Employees should be considered “appreciating assets”. The longer they are with the company the more knowledge about that company they accrue and the more productive they become. They learn the products in and out and grow accustom with the organization they have become a part of.
So what are some ways we can help increase retention?
1. Hire the right managers
It has been said, “people don’t leave companies they leave managers”. Having a good manager is essential to productivity, performance, and employee engagement. If you remember my previous post on engagement, a good manager was key to having productive employees. It is important to make sure that there is a consistent open line of communication between employees and managers and that this relationship remains positive.
2. Provide career navigation and personal strategies from the get-go.
It is important to provide educational opportunities and training programs to your employees. Well-educated employees are better able to problem solve and deal with daily tasks, which increases productivity and leaves less room for error. Helping employees map out their desired path within the organization, setting performance-directed goals, and offering support to achieve these goals will not only increase engagement, but also retention.
3. Create a culture of trust.
Make sure your employees believe in the mantra that “you’re not in business solely to make money, but to help the customer”. Money is a byproduct of success, not the other way around. Managers and employees should work like a team to reach the best solutions to problems. Transparency should also be practiced to prove to employees that they are trusted with the company’s issues just as much as the managers are.
4. Recognize good performance.
There are many ways to reward an employee for good work performance, whether it be through financial incentives, professional development opportunities, or a simple pat on the back, employees should be recognized when they achieve their goals and perform above the required task.
5. Hire employees who fit the organizational culture.
Someone might be exceptional at his or her current position, but if the organizational culture isn’t a match, than you are not likely to see maximum performance or retention. By spending adequate time recruiting and interviewing the right hires, you can increase their chances of staying with the company.
In order to be a successful organization you must engage your employees regularly and respect both them and your customers. You must also put the time, energy, and money into building a highly engaging environment. Finally, selecting the right people that fit your organizational culture will ensure retention levels down the line.
Sam Fricchione is a Human Resources Consultant for Twinbrook Associates. He is currently completing a Master’s in Behavioral Science at Brown University, where he is active in recruiting and research related to employee performance and productivity.
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