Having a stable workforce over time helps companies face long-term projects with greater guarantees of success. Employee retention should therefore be a strategic priority.
When a company is about to undertake a selection process, it is common for it to dump a large amount of human and financial resources in such a sensitive process. However, this effort could be in vain if, after the onboarding of new employees, the same interest is not put in improving staff retention.
Employee retention can lead to competitiveness and productivity gains compared to companies with high levels of employee turnover.
This is influenced by both the operational disruptions derived from instability and changes in the workforce as well as the lack of commitment of the workers. Retaining the best talent is a great investment for the future.
What is Employee Retention?
Employee retention can be defined as the phenomenon by which a worker wishes to remain in their current company. At the same time, staff retention is a business indicator that allows us to check the level of commitment of the workforce and the availability of Human Resources to face new challenges.
Sometimes, retention is a fact that occurs completely naturally, thanks to a correct combination of incentives from the company and goodwill on the part of the employees to be comfortable and satisfied in the entity
Other times, it is mandatory to resort to employee retention strategies so that they feel more convinced to continue with the company.
Why Employee Retention is Important
Having excellent human capital is not exactly an easy task, to the point that many companies have had to dedicate a lot of time and resources to build a particularly valuable workforce.
For this reason, if staff retention is neglected, the company will have made a terrible investment and, predictably, will have to undertake it again to cover absences.
At an operational level, excessive staff turnover always translates into:
- Communication deficit
- Lack of trust among employees
- Little or no alignment between workers and the mission and values of the company
- Less sense of responsibility or lack of commitment to ongoing projects.
If employees feel like they are passing through, their involvement may plummet.
As a result of all the above, the company sees how its competitiveness suffers compared to those companies that have been able to have stable workforces over time. All this without forgetting the need to convene and manage recurring personnel hiring processes, with the challenges that this entails.
And, in relation, it is increasingly present in companies that to ensure performance, every one of the phases that a professional goes through must be taken care of. In our guide, we explain how technology can give that extra factor to the Human Resources department.
Myths of employee retention
Too often, staff retention techniques are neglected because employee departure is due to reasons that companies can do little about. This is actually part of a series of myths that should be discarded to improve talent retention.
- Better economic conditions: many companies assume, without more, that workers leave their jobs because they have received better offers.
- Poor pressure management: Another widespread feeling is that professionals who leave the company do so because they cannot bear the pressure and it affects their mental health (in other words, because they are weak).
- Employee retention cannot be measured: companies that are lagging in terms of business digitization consider that they do not have tools to measure the loyalty of their employees.
- Lack of judgment: thinking that the worker does not know what he wants is another way of not investigating the ultimate reasons for his departure.
- Errors in the chain of command: managers and supervisors can weigh heavily on staff retention, but many aspects are beyond their control.
Symptoms of an employee who is about to leave the company
The delay in the implementation of employee retention strategies is also explained in many cases by the inability to appreciate the evidence that a part of the workforce does not feel satisfied. These are the most common previous symptoms when a worker considers leaving the company.
- Productivity drop: Employees are not machines and their productivity can experience ups and downs. However, if it shows a clear downward trend, it may be indicating its lack of commitment.
- Poor collaboration and apathy: if the worker is not collaborative with the issues for which he is required and shows a certain indifference to his surroundings, his mind may be more outside than inside the company.
- Questioning corporate objectives: this is a critical aspect because if the employee feels that the objectives of the company are not appropriate, the risk that they will end up leaving it increases significantly.
- Absences and Delays: When a professional who has not had discipline problems begins to accumulate delays and absences, he may be considering changing jobs.
- Low long-term commitment: If long-term strategies or projects are presented and some workers are less than enthusiastic or even evasive, it could be due to their willingness to leave the company.
How much does Employee turnover cost?
After examining both the importance of employee retention and the signs that could alert us, it is worth quantifying what the economic impact of excessive staff turnover could be. Essentially, we can distinguish three large blocks of expenses:
- Recruitment and selection: the call and management of a recruitment and selection process can take up to 50 days for those responsible for the process and require the disbursement of 4,000 dollars (the figures vary depending on the size of the company). However, recruiting and selection software can reduce costs and streamline procedures.
- Training: staff training helps cover the functions of colleagues who have left the company and may require a more or less significant investment. It could mean around half a year of salary.
- Adaptation: it is widely accepted that an employee’s optimal point of productivity is not reached until they have been with the company for a year.
Still, don’t make the mistake of demonizing staff turnover. On certain occasions, the departure of employees who were not offering the desired performance and the incorporation of profiles necessary for new challenges can lead to improved results.
6 Employee Retention Strategies
Many experts on the matter prefer to speak of “loyalty” talent instead of “retaining” it. It would be something like getting employees to want to be in the company without feeling forced to do so. Whatever the basic premise, companies have numerous employee retention strategies and techniques in place.
1# Hire the appropriate profiles
Many times, problems with employees are started by an incorrect approach during the recruitment process. That is why both the job interviews and the rest of the candidate evaluation techniques are aligned for the search for professional profiles that fit with the dynamics of the company.
The software recruitment and selection help without prejudice during the recruitment process and allows screening to start theoretically less compatible applications with the company.
2# Improvement of the work environment
Many employees begin to feel like leaving the company when they do not like their work environment or have deteriorated significantly. Anticipating this situation is essential to prevent workers from wanting to leave, so it is advisable to use employee survey software.
This resource allows to know the opinions of the workers, detect aspects of improvement and act quickly when problems that could be aggravated are observed. It also has the advantage that by using surveys regularly, we can check the evolution of employee opinion.
3# Incentive and recognition plans
Few employees tolerate their effort going seemingly unnoticed at the company. It is not that they want applause every time they complete a task, but they do like that the company recognizes their work and their merits. Incentive and employee recognition plans are necessary to reinforce commitment.
4# Career plans
Having real internal promotion options is a powerful stimulus for employees. If they feel that their effort and commitment could lead them to grow professionally within the company, they will have less desire to seek better conditions in other companies.
5# Family and work conciliation
Work flexibility is one of the incentives best valued by employees. Measures such as teleworking or greater facilities to organize the working day make it easier for employees to reconcile the family. In this way, the risk of resignation is reduced if the main reason is the need to attend to personal matters.
6# Active listening
One of the most useful staff retention techniques is to keep multiple channels of communication open with your staff.
Not infrequently, the frustrations of the employees originate from the fact that they do not feel listened to by the managers or the management or by the feeling that their ideas and problems do not interest any of their superiors.
The Human Resources portal provides a private space so that employees can manage different aspects of their situation in the company and, at the same time, stay in permanent contact with those responsible for the teams.