Talent retention has become one of the biggest issue business leaders face. This relatively new concern has grown over the last decade, from 28% of companies reporting that it was their most important concern in 2009 to nearly 60% of companies in 2013. Why is retention suddenly top of mind?
Historically, retention was never much of a concern. Employees were hired by a company and became ‘company men’. The gold watch employees were given after decades of service was a reality, with little turnover among staff.
A litany of factors affected the standard of the long-term corporate employee, including corporate mistrust, increasing reliance on technology, layoffs and a rapidly growing workforce.
The rising generation of employees are more likely to change jobs in search of a new experience and are less inclined to feel an attachment to a big corporation. Today, companies face a revolving door of employees, with most employees actively looking to change jobs every three years.
A stable workforce is an essential element in running a successful company. From building corporate culture to managing customer relations, consistency is one of the most important parts. Companies trying to build a lasting business must focus on retaining their workforce.
Can retention help reduce costs?
Replacing an employee can cost up to 50 percent of their annual salary. Finding qualified employees requires advertising and promotion. The loss of the employee may lead to increased overtime as other employees pick up the slack.
These added costs, in combination with time spent on interviewing and on-boarding new employees, can severely impact a company’s budget. It is in a company’s best interest to retain employees who are qualified and trained for their position.
How can you retain talent?
One of the most effective ways of retaining talent is through employee engagement. Creating an environment that retains talent takes effort, but the dividends are worth the effort.
First and foremost, one of the key parts to retaining talent is to pay well. Changing jobs can be attractive when employees get a 10 to 20 percent pay increase. While pay is not the most important part of a job, it is important.
Pay your employees a comparable wage and offer regular raises for increased responsibilities and contribution to the company’s growth.
Cultivate a positive corporate culture
Develop an atmosphere that allows your employees to grow professionally and personally and recognize their efforts.
Be flexible. With the rise of technology’s use in the workplace, allow your employees to take advantage of flexibility as much as possible. Can employees work remotely? Allow them to work from home once a week. Find ways that show your employees that you will work with them on scheduling as much as possible.
Continue to train your employees as much as possible. Use cross-training to not only offer additional skills, but to help employees see the bigger picture of your company. Bring in outside enrichment opportunities to invest in your employees’ skills and abilities.
In today’s competitive workforce, retaining talent is more important than ever. Not only does it impact your costs, it can impact the entire demeanor of the company. What are you doing to improve the employee retention rates of your organization?
Michele Bailey is president and CEO of Blazing Agency and My Big Idea™. These two lines of business work congruently to support her clients’ success.