Why Employee Retention is as Important as It’s Ever Been

Why Employee Retention is as Important as It’s Ever Been

If you’ve been involved in recruiting and hiring for your company, you know that finding good candidates is only half the battle. Today’s employers face significant challenges when it comes to retaining top talent.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests today’s employees average 4.6 years at any given job. Between 2012 and 2013, 7.3 percent of Canadians changed jobs. Based on a labour pool of approximately 18 million Canadians, that means that 1.3 million workers switched jobs during this time period.

Studies show a drop in job satisfaction may explain the rise in turnover. Of course, there are a number of factors contributing to this dissatisfaction – lack of recognition, advancement opportunities and work/life balance to name a few.

While the “discipline” of employee retention has been around for many years, it is evidently worth a refresher as we enter into the fall hiring season. After all, keeping your best employees happy and productive is a competitive advantage for your company.

Retention starts with the recruiting process.

During recruitment, make sure you identify the candidate’s long-term goals. Do they align with company goals? Does the candidate share the company’s vision? Ensure the candidate fully understands the scope of the role. A reliable search partner can help support this process.

Build from the top.

Ultimately, the senior leadership of the company is responsible for engaging and retaining staff to encourage company growth and avoid turnover. Regular communication is essential in confirming operations and processes are aligned with achieving company goals. Managers act as point-of-contact-employees, and they should be trained to engage lower-level workers, ensuring that new employees fit within company culture and existing employees are given ongoing, individual attention.

Identify sources of motivation.

Identify your “superstars” and your best performers. Take these employees aside and ask them about their goals, how they see their careers developing, and what motivates them. Follow up with regular check-ins. Create and provide incentives, and remember that your stars are often motivated by non-salary based incentives as much as they are by cash-based incentives.

Encourage mentorship.

A mentor program is beneficial to ensure that, from day one, new employees feel valued and confident in their role. The mentor – a supervisor or manager – should ask the new hire about goals, and highlight potential for career development within the company. Open the line of communication, and make clear the new hire’s relationship with other employees at the company.

At the end of the day, the best way to keep your star performers is to motivate them to make progress at meaningful work and help them see they are directly linked to company success. Take the time to connect their role and daily activities to company performance. By doing so, you are helping to ensure your best employees stay put well beyond the standard time cap.