||A CEO once very rightly said "At the end of the day, we bet on people, not strategies." What he is referring to is that there is a direct correlation between growth in market capitalization and growth in profits per employee. Talent, therefore, is the ultimate generator of wealth creation in this new digital age and people are the primary source of competitive advantage, this requires a very different focus for the modern management-maximizing returns on people, not capital.
|Today the work environment is characterized by constant change, increasing pressure, cost-cutting, restructuring and tougher performance measures. Without the best people it gets even harder to deliver the demanded outcomes.
It is important that the management while making budgets and plans should keep in mind the age old saying “prevention is better than cure”. It is always more fruitful and effective to develop successful employee retention plans than to plug employee turnover.
It is not just about having strong recruitment practices and appropriate reward strategies. It has to be a holistic picture, getting every part of your organization in sync with this goal. It involves looking at all systems and strategies at organizational level to make sure they are working together to create an environment in which our best people not only survive, but thrive.
This cannot be done by the HR people alone. This is a major line management responsibility. It is a strategic organizational challenge - to be taken on by everyone from top management to the line managers.
It also includes stepping back and looking at the less obvious organizational "messages". Is there congruence between what it says (the values posted on the wall) and what it actually does? Is the real culture different from the espoused one? Does management walk that talk? Does it deliver on its promises? Is there a high level of trust in the organization?
The cost of poor employee retention is not simply financial. Loss of intellectual capital, decreased productivity and performance, and lower morale are all likely if turnover is high. Therefore, the remedy also has to me multi-faceted.
There is no need here for me to describe any further the importance of employee retention in times both good and bad. We all know that for any organization to succeed it must retain its talent. So instead, I would like to bring forth some simple yet powerful ways by which an organization can successfully retain its best talent.
First and foremost is that the senior management and key leaders should have a common objective while deciding any strategy for employee retention. As no strategy no matter how sound will not be successful if the key managers do not believe in it. It has to flow from top for it to be effective.
Any good strategy should be tailored around the employees. The key focus should be transparency. The expectations from employees should be clearly spelled out. As an organization, it is important to tell your people what you want, what they did right, what you expect of them, and how you will measure their progress.
Organizations should be flexible to respect the need and efforts of its people who often stretch themselves for meeting organizational project goals. When people feel respected, they’ll be more loyal over the long term.
Company can stimulate its employees by providing them opportunities to contribute towards company’s betterment through challenging and meaningful work assignments. It is also required that the employees are provided with regular development and learning opportunities where they can learn something new and feel challenged.
Apart from being assigned challenging work, leaders should never undermine the power of praise and recognition. Leaders must always recognize and celebrate even the small accomplishments, as praise and recognition inspire people to increase productivity. Employees appreciate spontaneous and positive recognition along the way instead of delayed recognition during a performance review.
To keep morale high, daily coaching and facilitation is also a must. The “I tell/you do” method of management simply does not work for motivating and retaining people. Instead, a manager should become a coach to people and encourage them to try things their own way. Allow for mistakes to happen, as mistakes are often our greatest learning opportunities. When people know that mistakes are understood as a part of the experience, they’ll be more creative and take more risks. When employees are to be corrected, then it should be done constructively by offering information on ways they can improve, attain, and surpass desired results. Most people are grateful for constructive feedback. It shows that you’re paying attention to their progress.
To conclude, I would say that by partnering with employees and by creating a work environment that’s enjoyable, meaningful, and focused, any company can accomplish great results, even during uncertain times.
Wishing you all a very happy and a prosperous new year!