Retention is like life insurance. No one thinks about it until they need it.
With the job market heating up and passive candidates starting to get antsy and look for different jobs, managers need to consider retaining their top talent. The irony is retention costs nothing.
Unemployment rate in the United States rose unexpectedly to 5 percent in March 2016, with expectations that it would hold steady. Big companies and small companies are starting to see how the market has turned. Statistically, Monster job boards reported that 82% of surveyed employees have updated their resumes this year and 59% said they are passively looking for another role.
While compensation is always a factor in retention, it isn’t the end all. Most of the people I interview are looking for career advancement and flexible work hours. Sometimes it’s just not practical to throw more money at employees and often that isn’t what’s bugging them anyway.
Some job seekers want more of a challenge and think they are topped out in their current role. Some start looking aggressively if they aren’t connecting with their manager.
As a manager, you’ll want a contingency plan and a strategy to retain talent.
Here’s what you can do to make them want to stay:
1) Get rid of hidden agendas
There is nothing more refreshing than a boss that gives a directive and tells you why. Employees want to understand how their job fit into the bigger picture or they lose motivation. Show them what they do is important and compliment them. You’d be surprised how far a little praise goes.
2) Formal Mentoring Programs
Many in today’s workforce long to get into leadership, but need a solid mentor to help them reach to the top of the ladder. Junior level employees benefit from having an on staff mentor to show them the ropes, explain to them office politics and give candid feedback. Cost effective, mentors bring maximum ROI to organizations and help retaining efforts. There is nothing worse than infusion thousands of dollars into a junior level employee only to find they walk out the door in 18 months – and over to your competitor. While I know that this sounds like one more thing on the to-do list, it’s worth the effort.
3) Map Career Path
It surprising how many people would like to advance, but don’t know what the next title rung is or what they need to do to get there. Make it easy for employees by understanding what their title maps to and the skill needed. Identify those that want to promote and have open, ongoing conversations with them – and not just at review time. Be the leader in your company that promotes from within. It’s infectious.
4) Internal Recognition
As cheesy as this sounds, there is nothing like the top executives in an organization sending an email to a well-deserved employee in regards to their performance. It allows the person to know their job matters and that what they do each day really does matter.
People leave jobs for a variety of reasons, and the bulk of the reasons why I see people leave jobs are not due to economics, but their emotions.
There is nothing like being blind-sided by a productive team member giving their notice. Be the kind of leader that recognizes talent and actively retains them – or your competitors will.