Retention Is Everyone’s Issue

One might argue that retention is not a recruiters issue and should be none of their concern.

I have a different opinion, I think it is very much a recruiter’s issue and that as an industry or an as individual we need to step in and show concern for this very real inhibitor to our ability to build long term relationship with our hiring managers. There are some recruiters who feel if their clients did a better job in retaining people that they would lose revenue and then there are the other recruiters who feel if their clients did a better job of retention, employee development and succession planning that would lead to additional revenue, more placements and more credibility.

Let’s get real;

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When looking at Retention, look for strategies that fall into one of five categories; Environmental, Relationship, Support, Growth and Compensation. There are many of schools of thought that believe that as I have listed it, compensation is the last of the 5 most influential strategies.

Environmental strategies can include creating an environment that people feel they are part of something really great, something bigger than what they bring to the table as an individual, and something where they feel collaboratively that the team is out to make a difference. This includes elements like a compelling mission & vision, customer focus, ethical business practices and a company that operates with a high level of integrity. It also includes ensuring that the employees work in a safe secure environment, as well as an environment that is consistently staffed with likeminded, competent people. In a nut shell companies that practice environmental retention, walk their talk, hire right and believe that like attracts like; they also de-emphasis status and privilege. Additionally, they take the stand that every team member is just as valuable as the next, regardless of their role.

Relationship strategies can include strategies like managers understanding why people work for and stay at the organization, knowing who their people are, what makes them tick and what drives their performance. Companies that practice relationship strategies for retention resolve conflicts, dismantle silos, strengthen on boarding and employee bonding programs, assign mentors, care for people as individuals as well as contributors, and they spend the time to build trust and partnership with their workforce. Support retention strategies include the avoidance of mushroom management; dissolving any perception of uncertainty and instability in the company through open honest communication and the removal of barriers to task accomplishment. These companies look to provide additional support resources as in people, tools and technology to get the job done more efficiently and more effectively; they encourage new ideas and adjust jobs to fit strengths and talents of their team. These companies also do a great job of defining responsibility, authority, and accountability. Additionally, these companies pride themselves on involving employees in decision making and problem solving therefore creating collaborative synergistic interdependent relationships.

Growth retention strategies include employee development programs that impact the company’s succession plan and build the depth chart. These consist of formal education and training stipends or reimbursement programs, employee self development funds and career planning programs. Often these are the same companies that pride themselves on creating an environment of continuous improvement. These companies also invest significant dollars in developing on the job training and leadership development programs.

And last yet certainly not least are compensation strategies for retention. These include sharing benefits and perk package with employees in a format of ‘total employee investment’; this lets the employee know what they are really getting, above and beyond their paycheck. Compensation strategies also include programs that link pay to performance; flexible medical spending and flex benefit programs. Other non financial forms of compensation are pto, child care assistance, car wash services, dry cleaning pickup and delivery, and in office massages.

Knowing what the top companies are offering is the first place to begin.

Whether your company has a large budget or not it is important to know what you offer in terms of retention and to define what additional steps you will take in terms of retention to create your organization as an employer of choice.

As the market continues to tighten up, Retention is becoming a major concern for many, and as they implement key programs to combat the war for talent, candidates will become much more aware of what they can be offered. Make retention an important part of your recruiting strategy sooner than later!

Join me in reaching the designation of Certified Employee Retention Specialist through the National Association Personnel Services in October, in Orlando!