Secrets of Retention–How to Keep Your Best Players
In our post on Employment Mega-trends we discussed a possible exodus of employees from all kinds of businesses. According to recent surveys, “one in two U.S. employees [are] looking to leave or [have] checked out on the job.” [footnote 1] And according to a survey conducted by Deloitte, “only 28% of Gen Xers expect to stay with their current employers — suggesting many companies can expect a significant exodus among employees they were counting on to become future leaders”. [footnote 2]
What can you do to retain your employees? Here are our suggestions.
Think about increasing salaries. While money has not always been the primary motivator in turnover, today it could be a key reason employees leave. Many employees feel taken advantage of as a result of the frozen wages (and decreases) in recent years. Now they see company profits increasing — but don’t feel it coming their way.
Provide clear career paths. Many younger workers (especially Generation Y) are very concerned about career progression and development. But surveys show increasing employee frustrations over lack of clear career paths. Make the effort to work with at least your best performers so they understand what a future with you could look like. In a survey by Deloitte, of those employees who said they plan to stay with their current employers, 33% believe their companies are effectively creating challenging job opportunities and clear career paths. [footnote 3] Well developed (and communicated) succession plans can help.
Improve your workplace flexibility. Flexible hours and the ability to occasionally work from home are just two examples of policies that are increasingly common in the professional workplace. Generation X employees find flexibility very appealing, and Generation Y employees are beginning to expect it outright. Find ways to be flexible.
Reinvest in training and development. Training and development programs frequently were among those first cut during the recession. But employees want to learn and improve their skills. When Deloitte asked Gen X employees to rank the top three retention incentives that would persuade them to stay with their current employers, 64% cited promotion/job advancement as their first choice. Now may be the time to re-start programs that were eliminated and/or improve the training and development you have now.
1. Surveys conducted by Mercer and by Right Management
2. Source: Talent Edge 2020
3. Source: Talent Edge 2020