In many organizations, employee retention is a taboo subject. Staff exits are downplayed with cliché comments like ‘he just didn’t fit in’ or ‘she just didn’t understand our culture’. This is usually because nobody wants to admit that they couldn’t positively influence the employment experience or retain an employee.
Nonetheless, employee retention is a major issue for businesses across the globe. In America, Employee Benefits News reports that the average cost of replacing an employee is 33% of their annual salary or $15 000, based on a median salary of $45 000 a year. According to other sources, this is just one side of the pain that losing an employee brings. There’s also the sudden increase in workload that remaining staff must pick up, and in cases where clients are left unattended, business is lost altogether.
Rethinking employee retention
While retention is an important issue, few businesses are geared to exploit the real value of an employee integration program. Gallup reports that only 15% of employees across the globe are engaged in their jobs, and according to the Aberdeen Group, companies are 67% more likely to increase their revenue if they have a formal engagement strategy.
What does this mean for businesses that don’t have a formal engagement strategy?
What can HR leaders do to positively influence their workforce and retain more talent that will help their organization achieve new heights?
I believe that much of the challenge surrounding employee retention has to do with the way it is viewed within an organization. When new hires are introduced to an onboarding program, depending on the amount of training an employee must complete, it can last anything between four to six weeks, and in some organizations up to six months.
The issue though is that employee integration is viewed as something that has a start and an end date. If you examine your onboarding program and ask yourself what really happens to an employee after and beyond that four-week to six-month program, you begin to realize that there is a large grey area, one that many employees fall into and which can go unnoticed.
The secret to retaining talent
Retaining talent is all about driving the right levels of engagement over time. This challenges old notions of what employee integration looks like. A long-term perspective is therefore a smart perspective. By thinking about how to continually engage your employees, you come up with creative ways to add value to their work experiences. In this way, work becomes a place where your people go to make positive contributions and add real value because of their need to reciprocate.
How do you create meaningful engagements? Employee integration strategies are built around experiences which occur within your organization. For example, here are three engagement ideas for a long-term integration plan:
- Introducing staff to various interest groups
- Making both new and old staff feel at home by arranging regular opportunities for them to connect with co-workers within their departments and other cross-functional teams
- Showing employees that their development is important by connecting them with mentors or coaches who can provide a support structure, something that is very crucial in the early stages of employment
Making all of these plans stick can be challenging however. Spreadsheets, while easy to create, don’t have the ability to manage complex scheduling engagements or track important tasks, which is why we’ve build our employee integration and retention solution to help busy HR managers perform these and other duties. You can easily roll out comprehensive integration programs which:
- Automatically send calendar invites to relevant stakeholders,
- Track the completion of tasks, giving the team instant visibility into each new recruit’s progress, and
- Allow for a more holistic, objective and consistent approach to employee reviews and immediately highlight any red flags.
Employee retention is hinged upon sustained engagement and a well-structured employee integration program that’s built to generate long-term results. By ensuring that you create a place where employees always feel welcome, challenged and included, you cultivate the need within them to want to contribute positively to the organization.
Is your business struggling to retain staff? We can help.
We’d love to take you through a short demonstration of our Employee Integration and Retention solution and how you can begin to realize the value of a structured approach to creating a more empowered workforce. To book a time, just follow the link below and leave your details.