Over the years we surveyed the thousands of companies that use HR That Works. Hiring somebody they can trust has been the number one concern of most companies. The second and third concerns have everything to do with the economy. Prior to the 2009 recession, employee retention was the second greatest concern with employee productivity being the third. Once the recession hit and everybody is hanging on for their dear lives, retention slipped into third place with productivity being the second greatest concern in the squeeze economy.
In last year’s survey retention climbed back into second place, once again indicating its bellwether position. Not only are employers concerned about retention, it’s hiding behind the fact they are having difficulty finding quality employees despite continued high unemployment levels.
More than ever, employers must do a good job of employee retention. The greatest factors in retaining your experienced employees are the opportunity for advancement and the relationship they have with their immediate boss. What it takes to advance an employee’s career should not be a mystery at your company. I encourage our members to go to O*NET and consider looking at their career ladder tools and modifying them for your organization. Don’t force employees to either guess about what the career ladder is or have ask you to find out. Tell them. Let them know what the opportunities are and what skills and experience will be required for them to reach the next level. If you are at a smaller company don’t let the lack of advanced job titles hinder career growth. Perhaps making up a new job title is better than telling an employee there is no room for advancement. There should always be room for advancement for excellent employees.
When it comes to the relationship with the boss, the question is simple: Does the boss spend any time showing the employee they care about them? Most bosses are running for their lives and spend more time dealing with the dramas created by the 20% non-producers than nurturing their top talent. There can be no greater mistake. All of your managers should have a plan for how they will help increase the quality of relationship between them and their top performers. That plan should include discussing job performance, career advancement and compensation opportunities.
HR That Works Members should use the Now That I Got Them How Do I Keep Them Training Module with its related forms, audits, videos, and more. Look at this month’s Form of the Month, The Employee Retention Program Possibilities Spreadsheet which will provide plenty of ideas for a retention programs.