Ways to Improve Employee Retention

Employee retention is a critical issue facing today's enterprises as they compete for talent in a skill shortage economy. As Josh Bersin, principal at Deloitte and founder of Bersin by Deloitte, spells out, the costs of employee turnover are increasingly high, as much as 1.5 to 2 times an employee's salary. There are also other, soft costs, such as lowered productivity and a decrease in employee morale. These all add up to big trouble for businesses that aren't investing in their human capital.

 If you wait until a valued employee's exit interview to find out why he or she decided to move on, you've missed out on keeping a productive member of your team. And if they aren't forthcoming about why they are leaving, you also miss a golden opportunity to identify obstacles and challenges within your organization and fix them before you lose others.

 "Retention starts from the application process to screening applicants to choosing who to interview. It starts with identifying what aspects of culture and strategy you want to emphasize, and then seeking those out in your candidates," says Dan Pickett, CEO of Nfrastructure, an infrastructure, managed services and network services firm.

 One of the first items to look for is how long candidates were at their previous positions. Job-hoppers are something of a gamble. "While they might just be looking for the right place to land, a candidate who has had, say, 10 jobs in 12 years is going to be really difficult to retain for any company, "says Pickett. Choosing people with longevity at their previous jobs increases the odds in your favor.

 According to the Wall Street Journal, organizations should promote from within whenever possible. Doing so will not only provide a clear, forward-looking path to greater compensation and responsibility, but will also help employees feel that they're valued and a crucial part of the company's success as a whole.

Employee development and education is also critical. Whether by providing training for new skills or tuition reimbursement for outside courses, "furthering your employees' education can help them feel valued, important and invested in the company," says Pickett.

 Benefits and perks also play a large role in keeping employees engaged and happy. But benefits should go beyond healthcare coverage and paid sick leave.For example, consider offering stock options or other financial awards for employees who exceed performance goals or who stay with you for a certain time period. Or consider offering flexible work schedules or the opportunity to work remotely.

Generous paid leave policies also go a long way toward helping employees feel they are valued well beyond what they contribute at the workplace. For example,Change.org, an online social change platform, recently announced it will offer employees up to 18 weeks of paid parental leave, and it is encouraging other organizations to do the same.

 If your employees feel valued and excited about working at your organization, and fairly compensated, they will not want to go elsewhere. Moreover, their commitment and enthusiasm will be evident to your customers, says Pickett "That enthusiasm, that excitement and that investment comes through in every interaction

 Source: CIO


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