The growing shortage and ever-increasing costs of qualified human resources is no longer news, but the necessity for modern managers to face this fact. The growth of production and the economy, as well as the increasing level of competition, have caused a real struggle for employees in most sectors in UAE and globally, especially when a high level of knowledge and know-how is required. Moreover, it is crucial not only to attract the right specialist, as it is only 50% of success; one also needs to keep the right team member in the team. Skills in employee engagement and managing staff turnover rate have become essential for any manager in planning and developing employee retention strategy and policy in an organization. Therefore, employee retention activities are of the greatest importance for modern companies.
Globalization and openness of the labor force have made personnel turnover a global problem. A modern manager should seriously think first about who and how should be kept in the company since it has long been confirmed that it costs much less to retain current employees than to attract new specialists and bring them to a satisfactory level of efficiency.
Who should be retained?
First of all, a manager should pay attention to those employees who are called “key specialists.” These are the employees who have the maximum personal influence on the achievement of the company’s strategic goals; secondly, these are talented experts who develop innovative ideas that provide a competitive advantage for the company; thirdly, these are specialists of unique professions whose preparation requires a long time and serious expenses. Here are the ones you need to keep in the first place:
- top managers;
- midlevel managers;
- unique, highly qualified specialists;
- highly skilled and most productive team members;
These people are the foundation, on which the work of the entire company rests, and their loss will most likely cause the difficulties in the work of the whole organization; therefore a manager should make all possible efforts to keep these people in the team.
Now we will provide you with several tips on how to increase the job satisfaction level of your key employees and reduce the risk of losing them.
Potential problems causing staff turnover and solutions and tools for staff retention
Here are some of the typical factors affecting the employees turnover rate and some recommendations and ideas on preventing and reducing staff turnover and controlling employee retention:
- Possibility of continuous development. Employees, especially representatives of the younger generation, really appreciate the opportunities for professional development, and will easily leave the workplace in case there are no such opportunities, or in case they will feel professional stagnation. Therefore, the system of regular, systematic training (training, seminars, courses, etc.) of employees, as well as the assessment of professional achievements with the possibility of advancement will allow your people to feel their dynamics and growth
- Environment for innovation. Creating such an environment is not easy, but it will become a magnet for talented and promising employees. Support innovation, make employees equal in the search for new, unexpected solutions. Let them risk and make mistakes. Your company will become more flexible and much more adaptable to new conditions. Use team collaboration tools or project approaches to standard processes, implement Agile, Scrum, rotate employees – add newness to their daily lives.
- Give your employees more freedom. Do not put people in the official framework and do not strictly follow the rules. In such circumstances, your staff will quickly lose the initiative and dramatically lose their productivity. They will go to the office to work on paid hours and not to develop the company. In the end, they will want to go where there will be an opportunity to splash out their potential.
- Stay close to your team. Delegating tasks is important and necessary, but after letting colleagues float free, stay on the same wavelength as them. Do not concentrate all the power in one hand, be aware of all the processes, be interested in the successes and problems of each, and you will not face an extreme turnover rate.
- Do not ignore material incentives. It’s better that you do not use fines. It is unlikely that this will save, or cover losses caused by improper actions of an employee, but your company's image will be damaged irretrievably. But bonuses, prizes, and other material incentives – this is a powerful incentive for an employee to do his job better. And, if you promise a bonus or salary increase for a particular achievement - do fulfill such promise when the achievement is reached. Such an approach has a clear positive effect on loyalty.
- Take care of comfort. The employees should feel great when they come to the workplace as it shall be nice and comfortable and have all the tools and equipment to perform the duties. You'd be surprised how many people quit specifically because they had unsatisfactory working conditions in their previous job.
- Do not overload your employees. Managers usually delegate more tasks and responsibilities for experienced employees (those you can rely on). Therefore, such people burnout over time, they have a desire to change the situation. If this load increases, but your employee does not receive any additional bonuses from this, or additional weekends, then he/she is very likely to quit soon.
- Do not ignore the recognition of merit and encouragement at work. Even the most dedicated employees seek recognition for their work and rewards for a job well done. If the management does not do this, then it helps to eliminate motivation and reduce productivity. Therefore, if there are no funds for bonuses or other benefits, you have to look for other ways to express gratitude.
- They must trust their manager. If employees see that management is behaving in an unworthy manner with staff, customers, or partners, they can consider the possibility of leaving. Therefore, in no case should you be allowed to be untrusted as a manager. Communicate more actively with your team so that they understand the causes and motives of your actions, as well as the challenges you face.
Anyway, in the process of retaining employees, use all the methods, including financial support, and bonuses, and non-moral incentives will fit to get a satisfied professional. And bear in mind - finances are not the only incentive as motivation, respect, and gratitude are highly valued by employees. The main thing is that the efforts and costs spent on keeping and motivation person are greatly paid off by their work and contribution to the overall result.
An employee retention plan template
So, you’ve faced with a problem - the level of staff turnover in your team is very high, and you have to do something with it as soon as possible, your objective is to reduce employee turnover and prevent the team from losing its working potential. You need a specific employee retention plan. So here is a sample of a simple set of actions to cope with this issue.
Step # 1: Analyze the current prevailing conditions in your company. Look at the statistics of employees who left the company and the arrivals of new employees, calculate how much time your HR department is in search of a new employee for a vacant position, how long it takes you to introduce new employees to all his duties and tasks and what are the disadvantages and losses your company has (this information may be necessary for your higher management to convince them to increase various personnel retention efforts. It will also be very useful to survey employees to identify problems that you, as a manager, might not notice. Here are the key questions:
- “Do the current working conditions in your position satisfy you?”
- “Is there anything that you would like to change in your work”?
- “Do you consider your income fair and other incentives?”
- “How do you rate the work of your immediate supervisor?”
To get the most accurate information, you can make the profiles anonymous.
Step # 2: Choose Strategies and Decisions. So, in the previous step, you received information about the current situation in your company. Now that you have this data, you can begin to develop a specific action model that will address the causes of dissatisfaction:
- Development of professional education system (in case your employees complain about the lack of professional growth)
- Revision of the budget and implementation of the system of bonuses (in case they are not satisfied with the level of income). This is where your calculations from the previous step come in handy.
- Revision of non-materials incentives and motivation elements which shall be part of the company culture.
- Revision of the "subordinate – manager" system of interaction (if there are problems with management)
- Revision of working conditions (if they are not satisfied with the conditions at the workplace).
Step #3: Drawing up a document – employee retention plan. So, you have identified problems and selected ways to solve them. All this has to be included in a separate document – a plan to retain employees. This document should necessarily indicate specific organizational measures, the time of their implementation, particular employees that have to be involved in the process (for example, for training, or general meetings for solving a specific problem), as well as a field for your notes, and conclusions for each of items. The document can be organized in the form of a table (matrix), where you will mark the progress in your efforts.
Step #4: Monitor the execution of the plan and make adjustments if necessary.
Any plan cannot be perfect since it is never possible to foresee all the details from the very beginning, so making adjustments is almost inevitable. Constant monitoring and evaluation will allow you to see how effective your actions are, how well they provide benefits for your company, and also how correct your theories are about employee dissatisfaction.
For the manager to get a complete image of the techniques, tactics and basic types of analysis methods of retaining and motivating staff, this person must complete a course of specialized training with a practical component, including seminars, workshops, and training. One of such solutions is attending one of the management courses of Atton Institute. Please bear in mind that, working on employees retention plan, only an integrated and long-term planned approach will allow you to achieve the results you expect.