September 14, 2017 | Written by: Linda Ginac
Categorized: Employee Engagement
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Retention and engagement are on the minds of every employer. Given that turnover can cost tens of thousands of dollars to 1.5 – 2.0 times the annual salary of an employee, it’s understandable. So what causes employees to leave? If your first guess was managers, you’re not alone, but that’s actually one of the lowest indicators, according to the IBM Smarter Workforce Institute’s recent analysis of its WorkTrends 2016 survey. To understand your organization’s retention risks, let’s go over the main reason why employees leave – job dissatisfaction – and how you can implement a strategy to minimize turnover.
Most employees are unhappy with their jobs
Forty percent of the WorkTrends survey’s respondents cited job dissatisfaction as the top reason they voluntarily left previous organizations. When leadership fails to provide role growth and development, employees are likely to become disengaged and look for other organizations to fill the void. According to the survey, nearly one in five Millennials are currently looking for a new job and half are willing to consider a better opportunity even if they’re not actively looking. Growth and development opportunities within an organization are major incentives for employees to stay focused and engaged in their jobs. However, if the opportunities never present themselves or there isn’t a clear path to future promotions, high-potential employees will likely seek out more attractive job offers.
Passionate employees are less likely to leave
In today’s workforce landscape, being gainfully employed simply isn’t enough. To attract and retain high-potential employees, leaders need to get to the heart of the matter—engagement. According to the WorkTrends survey, employees who are most engaged with their organizations are five times less likely to be searching for a new job. That said, an organization that is on autopilot, failing to address career growth and development, runs the risk of alienating high-potential employees and not attracting new ones.
Top talent won’t rest on their laurels. They want to impact their organizations in a positive and progressive manner, and feel that their ideas and suggestions matter. Leaders, this is where you can help by influencing and guiding high potentials. By shaping them into phenomenal employees, this will also raise your external brand to new heights.
Here are two starting steps towards building a better employee experience that will engage and retain your workforce:
- Identify and create distinctive career paths – Each employee brings unique skills and experiences to their roles. As such, to maximize their success, you should partner with them to build customized career paths. Start by identifying the skills and abilities they will need to progress within the company. Set up goals and objectives that reflect the value of their role and its importance to the organization overall. This sends the message that you are an engaged employer invested in the success of your people.
- Make ongoing learning and feedback a priority – Once career paths are put in place, keep the momentum going. Provide resources and other learning aids to help supplement on-the-job-training. Multiple learning tools and sources provide high potentials with a diverse learning landscape, ultimately enriching their overall experience at work. It shouldn’t stop there, however. Feedback is critical. Research shows that employees, particularly Millennials, highly value feedback. By giving employees a chance to be heard, you are able to build trust, boost engagement, and ultimately construct an organization whose productivity and retention are a force to be reckoned with.
Bridge the gap with technology
Most companies agree that a clear path to career planning is integral to long term success, yet the “hands off” approach to employee growth leaves a lot to be desired. Even with the best laid plans, studies show that most employees are left to navigate their career progression on their own. Using competency-based technology gives leaders the ability to leverage data when making career pathing decisions, mitigating the guesswork by:
- Assessing employees against the performance requirements
- Designing training programs that address skill gaps
- Evaluating the degree of transfer between training and the actual work environment
The right software allows employees to actualize their growth and career development, which makes engagement and turnover less of an issue within the organization.
The bottom line is don’t leave your organization’s turnover up to chance by not addressing the root causes. Dial in on your career path approach. Make it specific and purposeful to attract and retain high-potential employees. Doing so will not only produce an engaged and motivated workforce, but also create an enviable place to work that brings new high-potential talent knocking on your door.
Learn more about safeguarding your organization from attrition by participating in the live webinar, “Predictive Retention: How to Know Before They Go,” on October 4, 2017.