Ask anyone who works in human resources, and they’ll tell you without hesitation – it’s important to pay close attention to employee retention and productivity. Doing so can be the difference between your company’s success and failure. If you have people who stay in their jobs and work hard, you’re in prime position to get ahead in business.
All of these platitudes are easy to say, but here’s the dirty truth – while every company talks about keeping their employees happy, not nearly enough are walking the walk. Simply put, more needs to be done to satisfy the modern workforce.
The Society for Human Resource Management recently published all sorts of eye-opening statistics on the sad state of affairs today. For example – voluntary quitting by employees has skyrocketed in six consecutive years. Employee engagement has been stagnant since 2000. Only about 30 percent of employees say that they “do their best” in their current positions. And perhaps most shockingly, according to Deloitte, the business world collectively spends $1.53 billion each year on “fixing” employee motivation and engagement.
It’s clear that we need real, tangible strategies for chipping away at this problem. Richard Finnegan, author of “HR’s Greatest Challenge: Driving the C-Suite to Improve Employee Engagement and Retention,” told SHRM that now is the time to take action.
“HR is caught in a dangerous race,” Finnegan noted. “Our CEOs want us to fix talent, yet they don’t know they hold the keys. How can we drive them to make the fixes instead of pushing the task onto us? I suggest a five-step model for encouraging company executives to take the lead in solving engagement and retention issues as only they can – because they bring authority, whereas HR can only bring influence.”
As such, here are five ideas for kick-starting employee engagement and retention at your organization:
Establish the business case
Employee retention, like anything else, goes best when it’s driven by senior leadership at your organization. Therefore, HR should begin by getting C-suite support for engagement initiatives. Spell out the case in terms that any CEO or CFO can understand – money.
Set real, achievable goals
How much can your company improve with respect to retention, realistically? Spell out your goals, both short-term and long, and draw up a detailed road map to get there. Do you want 20 percent fewer employees to quit next year? Thirty percent?
Look ahead of the exit interview
Exit interviews are one way to figure out why people are quitting, but what’s even better is to get out ahead of the problem. Consider stay interviews instead. Find out why people are sticking with your organization, and make sure that remains the case.
Fine-tune your forecasting
Smart organizations know that they can forecast everything – their budgets, their marketing plans, their hiring and more. So why not draw up a forecasting model for retention? Look ahead and map out your company’s future.
Hold managers accountable
Finally, if retention isn’t where you need it to be at your organization, you may need to figure out why. Begin by looking at your managers and what they’re doing to keep people around. Do changes need to be made?