Today’s competitive business environment dictates that companies constantly strive to keep their top professionals motivated, challenged and satisfied with their employers. Accomplishing these goals takes ongoing dedication to the workforce, open communication, and a shared company vision. The trust and integrity, as well as the workforce relationships, behind these initiatives must be established early and reinforced often…
"It's true that technology is transforming our work cultures, but some basic issues remain. It's even been suggested that one of the most compelling factors in employees' satisfaction with their jobs isn't about pay or benefits; it's about relationships—with colleagues, managers, and work friends. In the meantime, organizations are pouring funds into getting and keeping top talent. In 2011, companies spent $45 billion on recruiting, yet 46% of new hires still left after their first year." - Kathryn Minshew CEO & cofounder of career platform TheMuse.com, writes in 'Four Employee Retention Strategies for The Modern Workplace' on FastCompany.com
"Companies waste money on recruiting and still lose talent because they haven't really kept up with employees' needs." She cites four company initiatives to help keep top talent:
- Make it Everyone's Mission - make employees feel involved in the company - a part of the whole - and that they're making a difference - and they'll be the best evangelists the firm ever has.
- Increase Access - try to eliminate barriers between employees and executives - thereby reducing tension and opening lines of communication and a sense of belonging and inclusion.
- Encourage Curiosity (and put it to good use) - "Encourage employees to ask questions and take ownership of specific pieces of a project. Cultivate an atmosphere where employees' questions come from a desire to grow and learn—not from an instinct to criticize."
- Blend Work & Personal Time When Needed - acknowledging that the 'the blurred line between work and life is a two-way street' - employees will check email during the work day, but they'll also check their work email after hours - establishing trust in workers helps build a team - and the company’s brand.
Employee retention and engagement strategies are reinforced by Michelle M. Wicmandy, CMO of leadership mentor Collective Changes in her column ‘Making Your Company a Talent Magnet’ posted on websitemagazine.com, "In today's marketplace, every organization should make finding and keeping talent a high priority.
"This is important since employee turnover is estimated to reach 25 percent, or 192 million, by 2018. Why the concern? Employee turnover costs for entry-level workers alone in large companies could exceed $17 million. It also results in work disruptions, lost knowledge and skills, and extra recruitment and training costs. Furthermore, very high turnover can tarnish the organization's brand and discourage good candidates from applying."
Ms. Wicmandy highlights employee engagement tips such as understanding workforce motivation and work-life balance, “employees need to feel valued and respected” - leading with vision, “an excellent retention tool is a great manager” – and sharing knowledge, "Many agree that silence is retention's greatest adversary, so employers should be sure to keep information moving.
"How do all these efforts measure up? Companies can measure employee work satisfaction by asking employees their opinions via surveys, as well as explore solutions that track productivity, sentiment and more."
“Work environments don’t need to be stress pits," added Jackie Hiddlestone, change director for Australian utility company Sydney Water. "You’d be surprised the difference in attitudes and organizational culture where everyone in the team feels welcome, supported, respected and valued for their uniqueness and capabilities."
While statistics imply that it’s a challenge to retain talent, the reality is that it does not have to be difficult to keep your best talent engaged and committed to your organization. Follow the lead of those who have generously shared their secrets to retention success, and you’ll likely find yourself enjoying similar results.