Posts Tagged ‘reducing turnover’

How to Retain Millennials

Monday, December 26th, 2016

It’s hard to think of an important aspect of management that is more neglected than individual development planning. As a consequence, companies typically pay the high price in the form of the loss of top young talent.

A Harvard Business Review article, “Why Top Young Managers Are in a Nonstop Job Hunt” conducted an analysis of young high achievers and concluded that many of the best and the brightest are not receiving the career development support they desire.

The article stated, “Dissatisfaction with some employee-development efforts appears to fuel many early exits.  We asked young managers what their employers do to help them grow in their jobs and what they’d like their employers to do, and found some large gaps.  Workers reported that companies generally satisfy their needs for on-the-job development and that they value these opportunities, which include high-visibility positions and significant increases in responsibility.   But they’re not getting much in the way of formal development, such as training, mentoring and coaching – things they also value highly.”

There are two primary reasons that companies neglect the individual development process:

1. We tend to focus most on the here and now

Managers naturally tend to be most focused on essential day-to-day operations and less interested in longer-term activities perceived as having less immediate payback.

2. There’s just no time for it

This is another poor excuse.  There’s always time for important activities.  If you believe that development planning is a valuable managerial function, HR must make it a priority and create an expectation that ‘building talent’ is an obligation for all leaders.

Here is why development planning makes good business sense:

1. People care if you take a genuine interest in their future 

Development planning should be something a manager takes a real personal interest in – not an HR-driven mandate.

2. It helps builds loyalty, and loyalty increases productivity

Taking an honest interest in someone builds loyalty.  Employees feel as though the company is investing in them. Loyal employees are more engaged, and engaged employees are more productive. Talented people naturally want to advance, and appreciate the support in the process.

3. Capable ambitious young employees want training, mentoring and coaching

They want to gain skills.  They want to become more versatile and valuable to an organization. If your company doesn’t provide it, enterprising employees will go elsewhere for it.

Key HR Action takeaway:  Development planning doesn’t have to be elaborate or costly.  At its core it’s mostly a matter of good managers taking the person-to-person time to understand their employees, recognizing their skills and opportunities, and documenting them in an agreed-upon Individual Development Plan.

If you’re struggling with creating effective Individual Development Plans CAI can help.

Tom Sheehan brings 20+ years of extensive, broad-based strategic, tactical and practical HR experience to CAI’s Advice & Resolution team.  He advises HR and other business leaders on talent management, organizational effectiveness, employee engagement, M&A’s, and employee relations.

Pay Attention to Causes of Preventable Employee Turnover

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016
Bruce Clarke, President and CEO

Bruce Clarke, President and CEO

The following post is by Bruce Clarke, CAI’s CEO and President. The article originally appeared in Bruce’s News and Observer column, The View from HR.

When employees leave their jobs, we in Human Resources call it turnover. Then we label it “voluntary” or “involuntary” and assign drop-down reasons like “higher pay.” These labels are more about what happened than why it happened. You want to know why, not just what.

Turnover has as many causes as there are managers and employees. These four causes of preventable talent loss need more attention.

“I didn’t know.”I did not know this job had so much travel, that I have to cold call, that there is so much pressure to produce, that the business is unsound, that my manager is inexperienced, that it requires weekend work” and so on. These things are discoverable during the interview and application processes. Both sides own the problem: employers tend to accentuate the positive and applicants want to appear eager. If everyone spent more time in interviews talking about the job realities (and not just the fun stuff), painful and expensive early turnover would be reduced.

“We never talked about it”. I am convinced much of the turnover among talented, experienced and high potential contributors is caused by a lack of communication. Sure, no workplace has every opportunity or salary level a key player needs. Leaving for a new role might make the most sense. Too often, a great employee leaves because they do not understand all the ways this workplace could be as good as or greener than the grass on the other side.

Whether the motive to leave is pain avoidance (manager, hours, stress, type of work) or opportunity seeking (responsibility, autonomy, flexibility, pay) open conversations with a trusted mentor/manager will either make the choice clearer or uncover alternatives meeting everyone’s needs. Great managers create an environment where employees feel comfortable discussing these big decisions in time to respond.

“I need a change.” Some people need change. What used to be challenging becomes routine. Without new challenges, the normal push and pull of any job seems futile. What is this all about? Why work this hard each day for the same set of problems, people, customers and results? This happens at all pay levels.

It should be easy to agree on fresh objectives, skills and behaviors the business truly needs. Even without a new role, finding better and more effective ways to do important things requires good communication and agreement. Your best people are hungry for this conversation.

This is an emotional decision. Sometimes, the decision to change jobs is mostly about pay, but usually emotion controls. Where will I enjoy my work more, where will I get new challenges, where will I have an impact on real people, where can I find a manager who knows how to manage? Employers that understand the importance of emotion in decisions to leave can address them proactively. The signs are usually present. Explaining turnover in primarily rational and economic terms misses the mark.

Of course there are often institutional reasons for turnover, but remember the individual, preventable and emotional reasons.

Use Effective Measures to Engage Your Workforce and Reduce Turnover

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

A key factor in reducing employee turnover and retaining top talent is ensuring that your staff members are engaged in their work and the company. Employees who are engaged are not only satisfied in their positions, but they often go above and beyond to help themselves and their organizations succeed. However, recent statistics show that the majority of American workers are currently disengaged with their jobs.

There are many factors that turn employees who were once top achievers into those who only complete their work to get it done. Some engagement drainers include lack of individual recognition, inadequate feedback or poor managerial practices. Organizations that do not take the necessary steps to connect their workforce with the company’s overall mission will have a hard time keeping their staff around. Companies that have a high level of employee engagement achieve better business results.

The following are measures your company can take to increase employee engagement and reduce workforce turnover:

  1. Why are People Leaving? Before rolling out an employee engagement plan, company leaders should actively research why people leave their organization. Knowing your turnover rate and the areas in which people leave the most will help you uncover issues that are affecting employee engagement.
  2. Find the Culprit Before the Exit Interview. Exit Interviews are beneficial because they reveal a number of reasons for why employees choose to resign. Unfortunately, supervisors and managers only get this information when the employee has put in his or her last-day notice. To keep staff members satisfied before they decide to depart, implement Stay Interviews at least once per year. This meeting allows employees to discuss with their supervisor the factors that could potentially cause them to search for a new job.
  3. Communicate! Communicate! Communicate! A lack of communication is often cited as a reason for why employees quit. Provide multiple communication channels for workers at all levels to utilize. Managers and supervisors should meet with their employees multiple times per year to provide and receive feedback. These meetings should encourage staff members to speak freely about their goals and concerns.
  4. Manage Job Expectations. Losing employees within the first year of their hire date is an incredible loss in time and money for an organization. Many times the reasons for a worker’s short tenure are inaccurate job descriptions and unrealistic expectations and goals. Clearly define positions and their accompanying responsibilities when soliciting new hires. Additionally, when interviewing candidates, make them well aware of the position’s potential unfavorable aspects. Do not sugar coat.

CAI’s 2011 Compensation and Benefits Conference will provide additional tips and information for retaining top employees and creating a more engaged work environment through a well-thought-out, total rewards strategy.  Register today at www.capital.org/compconf.

Photo source: Woodley wonderworks