Retain, Don’t Re-train - Words For the HR Manager to Live By
Employee Turnover is a phrase guaranteed to strike fear in the hearts of human resource managers the world over. The cost to an organization in time and resources to replace and retrain a vacated position is a nightmare that keeps leaders and CEO's awake at night. Work Institute's 2018 Retention Report estimates these costs to be as high as 33% of that employee’s annual salary (Great Download by the way). So if this is such a big problem for generations of industry movers and shakers, why is it something that cutting edge organizations are still struggling with? Why in this day and age have we not eliminated this problem for ourselves? The main reasons are a basic feature of human nature and the rapid pace of development in technology and communication.
Two of the most basic human desires are acceptance and honor. Research backs up the idea that these drivers highly influence decisions, not just in personal life, but also in work life.
A Gallup poll looking at employee job-hopping trends found that a sense of “doing what I do best” ranked 10 to 20 points higher than a significant income increase in decisions to stay or leave a current job. And while the Society for Human Resource Management ranks this aspect number two in their chart of Top Engagement Conditions, the number one spot is occupied by Relationships with Coworkers.
So how does an HR leader leverage these two desires to create an engaged and committed workforce?
First of all, let’s look at maximizing the power of feedback and recognition to reinforce an employee’s sense that they are succeeding and doing their best work. Of course, the current industry standard for employee recognition is a Years of Service recognition program. But let’s face it, the majority of current Years of Service Programs are woefully outdated in the era of social media selfies and the Facebook humble-brags, where public recognition and shout-outs have set a new standard of expectations, and every one of your employees is highly aware of what other companies in your industry are doing for their employees. While the formal, traditional Years of Service Program is foundational to employee retention, it's just one piece of a much needed overall Engagement Strategy.
Your competitive edge in the job market depends heavily on your ability to create a sense of loyalty and investment in your workforce, and the research shows clearly that unless your people are regularly reinforced in the idea that their work is valuable and successful, they are going elsewhere. Are your current programs adequately doing this?
Now let’s discuss workplace relationships and an employee’s sense of personal connection to colleagues and management. Here, too, social media has influenced expectations. No one is satisfied any longer with the distant, uninvolved manager that appears once a decade to pat you on the back and hand you a plaque. Nor should they be. Nor are people going to be satisfied and happy working in a place where no one knows their name, or cares about their life further than their basic job performance.
The SHRM study showed that 5 out of the top 10 aspects of job satisfaction related to management/employee relationships, and found repeated references to workplace relationships (cooperation, communication, camaraderie) throughout the list of over 30 important aspects of job satisfaction. Today’s managers and HR leaders are held to a much higher standard of involvement.
If reading these statistics and research points has given you doubts about the efficacy of your current Employee Recognition Program or if you’d like advice and suggestions about how you can improve the social atmosphere of your organization through features like Peer to Peer Recognition and Social Recognition, you can speak with a Certified Recognition Professional at C.A. Short Company or just call me. We will take some time to talk to you, look over what you currently have in place, and give some insight that will assist you in making your organization a place your people can’t wait to get to on Monday mornings.