5 Steps to Keep Your Workforce Thriving &
Avoid Losing Your Best Assets
by Sean Hemraj – Director, Workforce Planning & Development – SRG
Most would agree that in order for an organization to maintain a thriving workforce, they must be able to effectively attract the talent necessary to push company objectives and compensate for natural attrition. In today’s landscape, this requires a solid marketing campaign that is able to target resources, along with a robust recruitment process designed to screen in necessary skills and experience. All of these strategies combined result in a diverse applicant pool from which to adequately refine and make strategic selection. But then what?
Retention strategies to prevent the loss of key individuals are often underdeveloped, which – in this market, can be a crippling blow to those organizations that have neglected to implement proper succession planning strategies. Currently, organizations have to invest more resources in order to find the talent they require which should emphasize the importance of incorporating programs to positively influence factors that increase retention.
It has been estimated that the cost of employee turnover, depending on seniority of the employee and complexity of their job, could range between a month’s salary upwards of several years.
For this reason it is imperative that your organization look at simple ways you can safeguard your talent. Although a truly effective retention strategy should be customized for your organization, here are a few ideas that your organization can start to implement gradually:
- HIRE RETAINABLE EMPLOYEES
Easy enough right? Not always. It’s important to understand that retention strategies begin in the hiring process where initial impressions play a large part. In the end, the success of an employee within your organization will depend on the decisions they make and the influencers that drive those moments. The key is building a strong foundation of communication and clear direction for the role.
- ORIENT FOR SUCCESS
This is more than making a new employee feel welcome. It’s about developing job comfort through education on the work environment, policy and procedure and even their daily routines and logistics such as exits and entrances, lunch room and washroom locations, while setting a standard for compliance. Think of your first day of secondary school. You knew what classes you were taking and who was teaching, but not where the rooms were nor had you met any of your teachers. This is an important step in the mitigation of voluntary turnover.
- COMMUNICATION AND FEEDBACK
As American author and management expert Ken Blanchard has said, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” There is a basic need in everyone to feel as though they are succeeding and that their talents and skills are being utilized by the organization they are employed under. But, it is not enough to offer vague complimentary statements. Employees want to see and understand results in comparison to corporate goals. The lack of information could leave individuals without an objective and feeling as though they are ‘stuck in a rut’.
- WORK/LIFE BALANCE
Employees are not machines that can continuously be programmed to increase their production capacity unendingly. To drive employees too hard could produce negative attitudes towards their manager and eventually, the company itself. As Managers, it’s important to help your employees understand a work-life balance which can be easier said than done. This is especially true when employees are completely oblivious to the strain under which their own work load is producing. Encourage evenly distributed vacation time. This not only offers down time for the employee, but a vacation can be motivating for some to continue to push deliverables in the toughest of deadlines.
- OPPORTUNITY AND OPTIONS
Everyone likes to know they are in a progressive company that offers opportunity for growth. This is not just expansion of learning within a current role, but the ability to gain position in other areas of the organization and the potential to root passion. A great place to start would be a benefits package that offers investment into educational incentives. The package can be coupled with regular one-on-one meetings with staff to discuss career planning and possible promotion opportunities that may be opening. Even if there is no immediate growth, these discussions leave the door open and reinforce that the company is listening and interested.
The truth of turnover is that most situations can be remedied via proper maintenance and observation. There isn’t one strategy that is all encompassing to reduce all turnover. The key is to communicate early and often. Your employees are your greatest strength; without them nothing happens. Orders aren’t filled and revenues cease. Invest into a strategy that promotes engagement and take baby steps.