Employee retention is one of the most important aspects of any organization. Not only is it a reflection of the company from an internal perspective in terms of performance and employee morale, but it also sends a message to potential applicants and ultimately factors into their career decisions. That’s why it’s best to be as informed as possible on the topic and to have retention strategies in place. It pretty much goes without saying that the past couple of years have been wildcards for the workforce due to the pandemic and other worldly events, so let’s look at some recent statistics on employee retention.
As employee retention becomes more of a priority for HR professionals, it seems as though the task becomes less simple to navigate. Now that you have an idea of just how difficult employee retention is becoming, let’s dive deeper into what retention truly means and how you can combat employee turnover in your own organization.
In a professional sense, retention refers to an organization’s ability to hold onto its employees. The definition is fairly self explanatory, but the real complexity lies in understanding the constantly changing nature of this subject and how to make sure you are maximizing your own retention. There’s a multitude of factors that go into this bigger picture, some of the main ones being quality leadership, flexibility, and work-life balance.
The overarching theme is that in today’s workforce, the ball is in the employee’s court, so to speak. Company loyalty is no longer a prevalent thing in people’s careers, especially the younger generation. Trends such as job-hopping have yielded effective results in terms of salary growth and career development, so it makes perfect sense that candidates would jump jobs to propel themselves forward! Let’s consider the key aspects we listed out earlier and how those play into retention.
It’s not far-fetched to assume that the state of a company’s leadership is a pretty solid reflection of how the rest of the organization is doing. If leaders are organized, fair, and grounded, the company will likely have a solid connection throughout the ranks and a real sense of goal-oriented direction. However, if the leadership team doesn’t have it together, is disconnected from the rest of the organization, or lacks basic empathy, that negativity poisons the rest of the company. Why would anyone sit and accept that when they could leave and find a better position elsewhere? That’s why it’s imperative that your leadership team is in tune with the rest of your organization, understanding of both their professional and personal needs, and willing to level with the people that work so very hard for them. For more information on this, take a look at our article on Leadership Development and its impact on retention!
If we’ve learned anything from the changes to the workforce brought about by the pandemic, it’s that most corporate jobs can in fact be done from anywhere. A bonus fact is that productivity tends to either remain unchanged or actually increase when working from home. Here’s something companies need to accept – a lot of your employees aren’t coming back. They realize that there’s no need to sit in an office for 8 hours a day away from their homes and families, and that doesn’t even include commute time. Revisit your policies and consider making remote/hybrid work a permanent thing. If you won’t, your employees very well may find someone else who will!
The days of people’s careers being the center of their lives are coming to a screeching halt. In these times, it’s more typical for work to be viewed as a part of our day to fund our real passions and interests outside of work. When upper management understands this and encourages employees to prioritize their lives, the result is a healthy and productive professional relationship and a positive work environment. However, there are still organizations out there that expect you to sell your soul to the company. That simply does not work anymore – your employees will leave to find another employer that sees them as people and not machines. Keep those communication channels open, be empathetic, and remember that your employees are people with lives just as important and complex as anyone else’s!
Taking the statistics and topics previously mentioned into consideration, let’s look at how those can translate into actionable insights for your organization!