Many HR strategies are concerned with recruiting in times in which there is a shortage of skilled labour , but ignore the issue of staff retention as part of the solution. But those wishing to avoid a two-pronged approach need to expect that the efforts of the competition to attract the best talent will bear fruit – and that good employees will find the cherries in the neighbour's garden more enticing. A recent survey by the Hay Group, for example, expects an increase in the average staff turnover rate from 14.6 percent (2013) to 18 percent by 2018. So, why are employees cutting and running? And what can you do to make sure you win the race? It could be due to one of the following factors:
1) You aren’t upfront in the beginning.
About 43 percent of professionals say a job description didn’t match the position. This is a big problem, especially if you want the right people to apply and the best candidates to get hired. While many skills and duties are transferable, candidates need to know exactly what to expect on the job if they’re going to stick around.
Solution: Write clearer, more descriptive job postings. Include as much information as possible, such as salary information, daily responsibilities, company culture details, professional development opportunities, and goals you’d like the candidate to reach.
2) You don’t engage them.
Studies show 79 percent of HR professionals say engagement is a high priority, but only 41 percent don’t have an employment engagement strategy in place. When you don’t engage your employees or acknowledge their skills, they may feel unappreciated, leading them to seek out opportunities elsewhere.
Solution: Have regular meetings with your employees, both one-on-one and in a group. Engagement happens when you’re aware of what an employee is good at and what they need to work on, in real-time. Scheduled meetings that happen proactively, instead of when there’s an engagement problem, will help your employees to feel more in tune with their performance and overall company goals.
3) You don’t recognise their efforts.
While finishing a task quickly or getting praise from a client is great, sometimes workers want recognition for their efforts from you. In fact, 78 percent of employees said that if they got better recognition, they may feel more motivated in their job. The right kind of motivation means better performance and higher results. The wrong kind means saying goodbye to talent who could have positively impacted your organisation.
Solution: Help your employees feel more connected to their jobs. From small gestures like thank you notes and social recognition to larger rewards like time off and promotions, taking steps to recognise employees for their efforts can help you to retain employees while motivating them to work toward their goals.
4) You don’t help them to grow.
Here’s a surprising statistic for you: Fewer than one-fourth of employees said they felt managers were interested in the professional development of their staff. While star players may seem to have their head in the game today, if they’re not challenged, they may grow out of their position. If a promotion is not an option, their move could either be to stay, becoming more and more disengaged in their job, or to leave and find an organisation that helps them grow. Clearly, both of these choices aren’t great outcomes for your organisation.
Solution: Offer as many professional development opportunities as you can. Try offering varied projects, online courses, books, meetings with top company executives or alumni, or free attendance at industry conferences. Not only do professional development opportunities help employees to grow, they also give an employee a reason to stick around.
While the talent retention war is very much alive, you can take the above tips into consideration to combat this problem. As you’ll see, the outcome will most likely result in happier, more engaged employees who want to stick around for the long run.
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