Best Practices: Employee Retention
A Changing Work Force and Workplace
Fundamental changes are taking place in the work force and the workplace that promise to radically alter the way companies relate to their employees. Hiring and retaining good employees have become the chief concerns of nearly every company in every industry. Companies that understand what their employees want and need in the workplace and make a strategic decision to proactively fulfill those needs will become the dominant players in their respective markets. The fierce competition for qualified workers results from a number of workplace trends, including:
- *A robust economy
*Shift in how people view their careers
*Changes in the unspoken "contract" between employer and employee
*A new generation of workers
*Baby boomers striking out on their own after hitting corporate ceilings
*Changes in social mores
- *Family orientation
*Sense of community
*Quality of life issues
*Flexibility and nonconformity
Five Strategies for Retaining Employees :
Retaining employees and developing a stable work force involves a two-step process -- understanding why employees leave in the first place, and developing and implementing strategies to get them to stay.
Employees leave jobs for five main reasons:
- Poor working conditions
Lack of appreciation
Lack of support
Lack of opportunity for advancement
- *Environmental strategies create and maintain a workplace that attracts, retains and nourishes good people.
*Relationship strategies focus on how you treat your people and how they treat each other.
*Support strategies involve giving people the tools, equipment and information to get the job done.
*Growth strategies deal with personal and professional growth.
*Compensation strategies cover the broad spectrum of total compensation, not just base pay and salary.
Top Tips for Retaining Employees
To retain their employees, companies should implement the following best practices:
- *Hire right to begin with.
*Engage in longer orientations with new employees.
*Live the values.
*Use creative rewards and recognition.
*Create annual personal growth plans for each employee.
*Consider non-compete agreements.
*Recruiter-proof your company.
*Make it easy for people to get their jobs done.
*Do corporate succession planning.
*Conduct exit interviews with employees who resign.
By focusing on key players who truly make or break your business, you can get the most leverage from your employee retention efforts. Retaining key employees requires a five-step process:
- '.Identify key employees and positions.
'.Know what motivates your key employees on an individual level.
'.Provide a deferred compensation plan.
'.Monitor and manage key employee performance.
'.Review key employees annually.
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Until recently, loyalty was the cornerstone of that relationship. Employers promised work security and a steady progress up the hierarchy in return for employees fitting in, accepting lower wages, performing in prescribed ways and sticking around. Longevity was a sign of employer-employee relations; turnover was a sign of dysfunction. None of these assumptions apply today. Organizations can no longer guarantee work and careers, even if they want to. Senior managements paralyzed themselves with an attachment to “success brings success’ rather than “success brings failure’ and are now forced to break the implied contract with their employees – a contract nurtured by management that the future can be controlled.
Jettisoned employees are finding that their hard won knowledge, skills and capabilities earned while being loyal are no longer valuable in the employment market place.
What kind of a contract can employers and employees make with each other?
The central idea is both simple and powerful: the job or position is a shared situation. Employers and employees face market and financial conditions together, and the longevity of the partnership depends on how well the for-profit or not-for-profit continues to meet the needs of customers and constituencies. Neither employer nor employee has a future obligation to the other. Organizations train people. Employees develop the kind of security they really need – skills, knowledge and capabilities that enhance future employability. The partnership can be dissolved without either party considering the other a traitor.
Let there be light!
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