The Key to Management Strategy: Employee Retention

October 7, 202012:30 pm989 views
The Key to Management Strategy: Employee Retention
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It is imperative for management to always find out why employees choose to quit the organisation. Research has pointed out that most employees leave out of frustration and constant friction with their superiors or other team members. Other major reasons include lack of communication, poor management, low salary, a negative environment at the workplace, lack of growth prospects and motivation, dirty politics, complicated hierarchies, as well as lack of challenging work and poor supervision.

As above reasons mentioned, many leading organisations are facing the challenge of employee retention as management somehow fails to stop high potential employees from leaving organisation. And oftentimes, the consequences of such action are enormous. According to workplace experts, it is really difficult for organisations to retain employees who decide to quit for a better opportunity. They pointed out that the success and failure of any business depend on the hard work put by employees to achieve the targets of the organisation, and the failure to retain employees is one of the major causes why businesses fail. 

An article by Management Study Guide explained that an organisation can’t survive if its employees are not focused and serious about their work. It is a common observation that employees who spend a good amount of time in the organisation tend to know more about it and thus contribute effectively. They develop a sense of loyalty towards their workplace and strive hard to live up to the expectations of the management.

The article further explained that it is not easy to find an employee who is loyal with the system and understands the work. It maintained that hiring an employee, training him and making him fit to work in an organisation incur huge costs and thus sincere efforts must be made to retain the employee. In addition, employee retention techniques go a long way in motivating employees for them to enjoy their work and avoid changing jobs frequently.

See also: Retention Booster: Simple YET Effective Steps to Make Employee STAY 

Employee Retention Strategies

Hiring employees is only a start to creating a strong workforce. However, retaining individuals who thrive in the workplace can be challenging because they are always on the lookout for greener pastures. The challenge, workplace experts say, is often how companies approach employee retention – reactively.

Robin Throckmorton, the president of Strategic HR inc, said surveys had shown that over 80 percent of workers are actively seeking their next job. She explained that employers often find themselves in disbelief that these numbers apply to them, especially if they’ve been lulled into low turnover rates.

In an article titled ‘Retention: How Many Employees Can You Afford to Lose?’, Throckmorton pointed out that the way to prevent the mass exodus from happening in organisations is for employers to find out why employees are leaving.

“It is critical you start creating retention solutions that work in your organisation now! Don’t wait until you lose that first key employee. Once you know what employees want, start implementing some of the solutions they shared to help retain your workers,” Throckmorton said.

The key here is to stress the need for employers to conduct an employer survey – be it survey of employee opinion, engagement, satisfaction or climate survey, the goal is always to find out information from your employees about how they feel about your company, supervisors, work conditions, job, and even intentions for staying. Make sure the survey is anonymous and you must respond to the data with action. 

Throckmorton also suggests the need for employers to conduct “Exit Interviews” for employees who wish to leave the organisation. Here are some other strategies that Throckmorton recommends to help employers retain their employees. 

Supervisor Training

How many of your supervisors have become supervisors but never received formal training? Do they have the skills to effectively coach, motivate, empower, communicate, delegate and most importantly represent the company in the right way? Remember, in many cases, a supervisor is what most employees see and hear the most about the company. They represent “the company” to the employee.

Leadership and Direction

With the economy in flux from year to year, many companies find their organisation doing the same. How clear is the direction from leadership? Do employees feel like they have clear goals and expectations set from the supervisor and the leadership of the organisation? Does the organisation have clear-cut policies and procedures that are applied fairly and consistently across the organisation? If not, now is the time to tighten up and make your employees realise the ship is on course and has some strategy in place that has direction for everyone.

Training and Development

What learning opportunities are you providing to your employee? Do you have a formal or informal way to help identify employees’ career goals and help them meet those goals within the organisation through training and/or on the job experiences? Today’s problem in the management system is that employees are forced to focus on their career loyalty without being armed with the training and development they need. Thus, if you help them focus on their career development, they are likely to be more loyal to you.

Communication

Do you know an organisation that has ever been told they over communicate? I don’t mean that you send too much email; this just means you aren’t communicating efficiently. Employees need to know what is going on in the organisation during the good and bad times. Different employees like to hear messages from different media (i.e. email, memo, face to face). And, oftentimes, employees need to hear it repeatedly to really get the message. What do your employees feel they don’t hear? How do they like to be communicated with? Do you have a communication plan?

Recognition and Reward

Too often, we all get too busy in our tasks to take time and simply say “thank you” to employees even for just doing their job, let alone for going above and beyond. Recognition doesn’t always have to be about a monetary reward. Employees often express that if someone just noticed and showed appreciation, it would mean a lot.

Both managers and companies will be more successful and retain more employees when they take the time to just say “thank you” to the employees. Find out what type of recognition employees seek. Individualise the recognition as much as possible. One employee may enjoy a Home Depot gift card while the others may like Starbucks. What means the most to the employee?

Flexibility

Survey after survey continues to say that employees want to work for a flexible company. Is your workplace the one that realizes the need to have flexible workplace policies? If not, this has to be started with the Gen Xers as the seniors who work longer with your company. 

All of the generations have gotten on the bandwagon. If your organisation isn’t considering creative ideas for offering any form of flexibility in your workplace, you are likely to start seeing your employees leave for organisations that do offer this – alternative work schedules, telecommuting, PTO, etc.

Read also: How Can Data-Driven HR Maximise Productivity and Boost Talent Retention?