employee retention strategies

Strategic Approach to Employee Retention

Employee turnover is quickly becoming one of the most prominent workplace problems. Over 350 questioned human resource managers had confirmed this in a recent survey. Up to 60% believe that skilled-worker retention is scarce, up to 45% admit that employee retention is an “utterly serious issue” and 28% consider it to be “serious”.

Organizations that realize how serious the problem is, implement programs to improve worker satisfaction and, in such a way, ensure a positive impact on retention rates. The incentive is not always financial too. High salaries, bonuses, flexible schedules, stock-options all play into the big picture, but what most workers really want to have is confidence in continued employment and career prospects. Here are the most effective approaches to employee retention:

  • 78% paid seminars & conferences
  • 67% tuition reimbursement
  • 67% management training
  • 58% performance rewards
  • 57% flexible office time
  • 57% interpersonal skills training
  • 55% tech and language training

If you take a closer look, you will notice that 5 out of 7 strategies on the list are related to learning. In the modern world, workers realize the role of personal and professional improvement for steady future employability. Unfortunately, not all organizations realize that and choose to go down the road of pay increases instead of investing long-term in their employees.

The Role of Job Satisfaction

A recent survey of 4000 professional workers showed that job satisfaction is valued higher than pay level. The study found that only 6% of people who felt satisfied doing their job but were discontent with their pay have chosen to quit. On the contrary, employees who were unhappy with their jobs, but satisfied with the pay quit in 27% of the cases. The percentage skyrockets up to 41% in cases when workers are dissatisfied with both the job and their pay plan!

It does not take a rocket scientist to see that job satisfaction plays a key role in retention. But what is the satisfaction based on? A list of things in fact: career, education and development opportunities; work appreciation and meaning; performance accountability and rewards; transparent 360 communication; work/life balance.

Working out the pay plan question is quicker and easier, but cultivating a culture for satisfaction takes time and effort. Consider moving away from the traditional “higher rank and power pays more” mentality. Allow people who hold customers in their hands on a daily basis be the most trained and well-paid staff you employ. Practice rewarding people for what they do and how well they do it instead of paying off more to those who’ve stuck for longer.