Using HR to Increase Retention - Part 2
In Part 1 of this blog we discussed the organizational impacts of inefficient retention strategies. In Part 2 we continue by discussing retention strategies and how combining strategies with technology, HR can make a positive measurable impact on an organization's bottom line.
People management is most effective when you know who you’re managing. This might sound like a strange statement but many organizations do not know or understand their employee make-up. As an example a younger workforce will have different requirements to a more mature one. The same program that worked for company X may not work as well for company Y, as every workplace has its own special environment and culture that comes jointly from the workplace policy and its workers. This should not be disregarded as it forms a part of the company’s employee brand.
Many organizations talk about company cultures. However in the world of a global, mobile multicultural workforce how can there be one pervasive culture ... and therefore how can HR manage the multitude of expectations?
Before HR gets into the act of planning and implementing retention programs, it is most appropriate to conduct in-house surveys and one-one interviews to determine what is most valuable to the company and its employees. Here are a few examples of some good retention strategies.
Hire High Quality Talent
It sounds obvious but many organizations do not have effective hiring processes. Rather than trying to fill a hole, employers should look at digging a little deeper. The first step in preventing high turnover is to hire people who are retainable. Elissa Tucker, the Human Capital Management Knowledge Specialist at APQC (American Productivity & Quality Centre), supports this view. She suggests working with the organization’s managers and top employees to identify common traits among employees - backgrounds, skills or personality characteristics. Ensure that they can not only do the work but also fit in!
Incentive and Scholarships
People who thrive well in high performance environments are usually “A” players with very strong ambitions. They work well under stress and are always on the lookout for something more - greener pastures. If your organization is to retain these individuals, it must have programs in place that facilitate employee growth and promotion.
As quality employees become scarcer look to “smarter” or alternative incentives rather than money.
Focus on the Career, Not on Filling a Role
When top performers join a team, their focus is on building their career. You should too. Don’t just hire top talent to fill a role (or a hole). Tucker opines that, “Best-practice organizations work to help individuals plan to stay with the organization — to plan their careers with the organization.” This makes much sense, as it shows visionary planning on the part of the organization. In order for HR to excel they should identify and work with workers and help them to chart a plan of how they can achieve their career goals.
And don’t forget those goals can change.
An organization may have two “A” workers with different motivations. One worker may be more interested in the money he’s earning while another is more focused on climbing the career ladder. The organization can capitalise on both talents by helping them achieve their goals.
Simple acts like a paid lunch or breakfast once a month (or fortnight) and quarterly drinks with a celebration of company wins or awards for employee contributions work well. Frequency is important as if done too often people start to expect it and can become cynical and see no value. Infrequent rewards can also have a similar affect.
Some organizations also organize or sponsor sporting competitions or charity events in order to add a sense of community within the workforce.
Aim for consistence and balance!
Just as positivity is contagious so is negativity. By implementing strategies to keep employees satisfied and productive many of the hard and soft costs of turnover can be averted. Generally many organizations go through cycles of unplanned turnover. The trick for HR is to soften and control the cycles in order to ensure maximum productivity.
Using the knowledge you have.
HR has access to a massive amount of employee data via their payroll system. As the most consistent and updated source of employee data by having the ability to report on and analyze data measuring against activity type and time, insights can be gained in order for HR to learn, predict and strategize programs to curtail and accelerate positive employee outcomes that will ultimately create better business outcomes.
Question. Do you have access and the ability to report on every data point captured in your Payroll and HR system? Can you readily extract data for analysis or overlay historical measurements or baselines to visualise trends and gain predictive insights?