The importance of staff retention

According to a recent 2021 CIPD Resources Planning Survey in conjunction with Omni, the focus on talent management has fallen during the pandemic and fewer organisations have undertaken specific initiatives to improve employee retention in the last 12 months compared with previous years. Even in organisations that reported talent was increasingly difficult to retain, only two-fifths had undertaken retention initiatives. Nevertheless, as the economy improves, the retention of the talent required for organisations to recover and thrive will depend, at least in part, on how well it was managed through the crisis.
It’s an issue that many employers face as the war for talent ramps up in forthcoming years. Firstly, let’s explore the key reasons for employees leaving their roles.

Key Reasons for Employee Attrition
Employees resign for all types of reasons. Maybe that they have found a more attractive job elsewhere or they have the opportunity for a lifestyle change, in which case it might be out of your hands to retain these employees. However, many people leave their jobs because they are dissatisfied with their current situation. Others may not be happy with the clarity of their role, communications and leadership styles.
Companies are under great pressure to deliver with fewer resources than they have had in the past. When the balance of workload, resources, and timelines are out of synch, this adds to stress levels and absenteeism as employees’ work/life balance suffers. Overall, this has a downwards spiral effect on organisational performance.

Issues resulting from Turnover
The issues of turnover can be diverse, for example, teams can be disrupted when a trusted or highly skilled team member leaves. The burden of that vacancy often lands upon the rest of the team, bringing in an indirect cost and possibly overburdening of the existing team and a drop in morale.
There are direct costs in recruitment a replacement, induction, onboarding and training as it takes time to fully perform in role.

What you can do!
• Explore employee satisfaction through cultural and engagement surveys. Employees representing four generations have greater expectations and place a greater demand on talent management strategies and practices including need for challenging work, advancement, financial rewards, work life balance, less loyalty to one organisation.
• Formal and informal feedback exchange is critical to the retention of an employee. Sharing information openly, making decisions collaboratively, and sharing risks and rewards collectively, can only result when team roles are clearly defined, and clear value is agreed. Feedback is two-way, and as a leader you’ll be looking for opinions, suggestions, ideas and evaluative feedback, as well as providing guidance, advice and feedback in return.
• Explaining what value is to be delivered is better than explaining the key accountabilities – just the doing. Value is measurable and is linked to output. All roles need to understand value and how value can be created. Spend time explaining this at an individual level to harness the best out of your employee.

Your role, as a leader is to plan, anticipate peaks and troughs and manage resources to deliver, even pitching in yourself if needs be, but be fair to both yourself and your employees. Obtain extra resources, revise duties, or outsource strategically if you need to. Keep the goodwill account topped up if you want to retain your employees.

If you can make your workplace attractive, inclusive and supportive, then you are more likely to retain all too important knowledge and expertise.

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