Once the job market swings back to put potential employees in the driver's seat, the effect on those organizations who let employee satisfation and retention strategies take a back seat could be severe. Those companies that believed their workforce had no where else to go, are in for a harsh lesson.
Understanding what is driving employees away is the first step to keeping them around, because the real reasons people leave have more to do with push than pull. A happy employee is harder to woo away than a dissatisfied one. Digging deep during exit interviews is important, though, to capture the real reasons.
Here are some recommendations from consulting firms, on how to keep your employees happy:
- Allow employees to develop additional job skills, especially around leadership and teamwork.
- Make work meaningful, fun and challenging.
- Actively work to improve employee morale.
- Pay competitive wages up to a limit.
- Reward your employees for their performances and efforts.
- Hire carefully.
- Beef up your benefits, particularly retirement plans.
- Head off potential problems at the pass by conducting frequent personal evaluations.
Of course, these don't guarantee a low turnover rate, but they will keep your organization in the running.
Over 60% of U.S. workers say there's no appropriate amount of time to stay in any one job. Only 10% surveyed felt they should stay 3-5 years. Twelve percent are actively looking or had found another job...44% were open to to discussing other opportunities. In other words, over half of all wokers are either actively or passively considering different employment at any given time.
~2001 Survey by Towers Perrin
Pay increases made to retain employees after they have made a decision to leave are only effective for nine to twelve months. Most employees who have voiced dissatisfaction will still leave even after the company has increased pay or benefits in an effort to make them stay.
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