Employee retention: ignite and unite a stronger, committed workforce

HomeEmployee retention: ignite and unite a stronger, committed workforce

Employee retention: ignite and unite a stronger, committed workforce

In today’s marketplace, employers across sectors are concerned that there’s not an adequate pipeline of critical talent as they struggle to both attract and retain employees and cope with older workers who’ve delayed retirement to keep their nest eggs growing and who’ll exit the workforce soon.

At the same time, in the face of stagnant wage growth and recession-era layoffs creating heavier workloads for those left behind, employees report declining levels of job satisfaction and engagement.

Gallup published State of The American Workplace, Employee Engagement Insights For U.S. Business Leaders in 2012, a national study that included a random sample from workers in North Carolina.

Of the approximately 151,284 full and part-time workers aged 18 and older surveyed,

  • 30.3 percent were engaged and inspired at work;
  • 17.5 percent were actively disengaged; and
  • 52.2 percent were not engaged.

Why were these workers so disengaged? Research points to two main reasons: their managers and a lack of feeling connected to their organizations and company goals.

From the study: “Gallup research also shows that these managers from hell are creating active disengagement costing the U.S. an estimated $450 billion to $550 billion annually. If your company reflects the average in the U.S., just imagine what poor management and disengagement are costing your bottom line. On the other hand, imagine if your company doubled the number of great managers and engaged employees. Gallup finds that the 30 million engaged employees in the U.S. come up with most of the innovative ideas, create most of a company’s new customers, and have the most entrepreneurial energy.”

If we apply the data to your company, nearly 70 percent of your employees may be dissatisfied. As hiring opportunities increase, now is the time that they can make escape plans for better opportunities!

How can your company turn the tide on disengagement, ignite individual employee enthusiasm and unite your talent around company loyalty?

Start by conducting “stay interviews” with your top talent. Exit interviews are a day late and a dollar short on getting the timely information you needed to keep someone who might have been valuable to your team. Instead, stay interviews show that your company is genuinely interested in connecting with employees for continuous improvement. They can also help your human resources team tailor future hiring packages.

Approach your selected employees to let them know how appreciative you are of their work and that you’d like to speak with them to better understand what drives their loyalty, find out what keeps them at the company and enhance their development.

Some questions to ask are:

  1. What about your job makes you want to go to work and not miss a minute?
  2. What about your job makes you watch the clock?
  3. What are you passionate about?
  4. If you could change anything about your job, what would it be?
  5. What performance feedback would you like from your manager that you’re currently not getting? With what frequency would you like to receive feedback?
  6. With your current schedule, what flexibility would be helpful to you to balance work/personal life?
  7. What area(s) of professional development would be important to you to achieve?
  8. What accomplishments have you been especially proud of in your job that you believe have gone unrecognized?
  9. If you could work with the team of your choice, what would it look like and why would it motivate you?

Once the stay interviews are complete, it’s essential to share the data with company leadership to create new, innovative employee programs that show you’re making a good-faith effort to listen and respond. You can also use the information to train managers to be responsive to the needs of their direct-reports and develop recognition or rewards programs that motivate your talent.


Learn more:

Turning Around Employee Turnover (Gallup Business Journal, May 8, 2008)

The Top 5 Reasons People Quit Their Jobs (ValueWalk, June 25, 2014)


Image courtesy of jscreationzs at freedigitalphotos.net.

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