2 25 Sep, 2013
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Retaining employees is the most crucial role any organization has to play to keep the work force intact and productive. Otherwise high employee turnover costs might have a detrimental impact on the company.

Retaining can be very difficult process unless you understand reasons as to why an employee would like to stay or leave a company. Let me walk you through some of the trends that make retention a difficult task.

1) Demographic Changes: The overall work force is maturing and the overall economy is growing more than the workforce. Hence, the availability of skilled workers is short and the there is an escalating competition among the companies to recruit and retain those who are available.

2) New Economic Realities: The world is experiencing some dramatic economic shifts. In some countries the unemployment rate is low and economy is flourishing which makes competitor companies to fund and offer high salaries and perks. It becomes increasingly difficult in retaining and attracting good employees.

3) Cultural Expectations: People have some cultural expectations which they follow. Some companies follow the culture that their employees will work for one firm during their entire professional lifetime, where they treat each other as family . Some companies lay emphasis on fast moving and continual change for better compensation and opportunity. A company’s retention strategies and goals can be more or less challenging depending upon these cultural factors which in turn depends upon the regions where the enterprise does business.

4) Upheavals in the world of work: There are certain trends followed by the companies and its employees which makes retention increasingly challenging. For example: availability of free agents in the market, experienced employees taking charge of their careers to move from one firm to another for better opportunity and compensations and the growth of online recruitment which has made it easier for employees to apply for jobs in other companies.

After discussing barriers to retention, lets now discuss some creative and effective strategies as to beat these challenges.

1) Hiring Right: You don’t want to retain a bad apple. For effective retention to take place the hiring has to be right. A quick tête-à-tête with the interviewee should disclose everything, unfiltered and unblemished. That’s how a perfect interview is. Hiring the right candidate will help in retaining the valued workers. There are better chances of retaining the good employees is to by hiring the people for their interests and by hiring for micro-cultures by clarifying what you want and expect from and the employee and also by avoiding the common hiring traps.

2) Making your company an employer of choice: By making your company an employer of choice will strongly improve the retention in your company. This can be done by designing the right compensation policies, offering attractive benefits, helping the employees balance their work and personal lives, fostering employees knowledge, communicating jobs opportunities, creating great jobs, valuing diversity in the organization and developing employees’ talent.

3) Retaining multi-generational workforce: There are three groups of people that are most prevalent in today’s workforce-

The Boomer generation ( born between 1946 and 1964)

Generation X ( born between 1965 and 1979)

Generation Y ( born between 1980 and 1995)

Each generation have the significant implications for the role that work plays in their lives and what they expect to receive from their work.

4) Cultivating the right culture: Many employees cite that the right working culture as one of the most important reasons for staying with or leaving a company. By understanding the culture expected and desired by the employees and changing it to a better working place will boost your retention rate.

5) Helping Employees avoid burnouts: In today’s business world, developments such as downsizing, budget cuts and rapid changes and advances in the technology often means additional responsibilities and overload for employees. This carries a serious risk of burnout and possible defection of their best employees. By understanding the root cause of burnout and ways to minimize it will help in retaining the employees.

6) Strengthening your retention skills: By strengthening your retention skills, you can further help your company keep valued employees on board even in highly competitive market. Retention skills can be enhanced by taking retention training, by sharing lessons learned with peer managers and taking steps to become a retention champ.

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