Employee Retention: Understanding The Enigma Of 2022

<p style="text-align: justify;">Engagement and retention are discussed now more than ever but remain an enigma for many organizations. The pandemic was a catalyst for discussions of how to engage employees creatively while companies quickly adapted to remote work. Companies are immersed in a season of challenges as we navigate competing priorities, loyalties, and commitments.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">While this fact may not be new - several factors leveled the playing field making retention a key performance indicator that is industry and geography agnostic.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">We know that 2022 has been deemed "The Year of the Employee" (Korn Ferry. Future of work trends 2022: A new era of humanity). This work informs us that 36% of professionals plan to take a new job because the pandemic allowed them time to reevaluate what they want.&nbsp;</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Simple Approaches for Employee Retention </span>&nbsp;</h2><p style="text-align: justify;">What are tangible ways organizations can impact and understand the adversary we call retention?</p><p style="text-align: justify;">By building these three perspectives into your daily work and culture, organizations can impact factors that drive employees to look elsewhere.</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Rapidly Resolve Issues</strong></p><p style="text-align: justify;">Avoid making simple improvements difficult. Remove "red tape" by empowering staff closest to the issues.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Instill a culture of trust and make budgets transparent and accessible. Spend energy and money solving issues (find a way to say yes) instead of spending that same energy and money micromanaging, debating details, and wrestling for the spotlight.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Middle managers take the brunt of staffing shortages, increased leaves, economic impacts to supply chain shortages, inflation, and many other external factors. Invest time to build confidence and empower this part of your workforce.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Relentlessly Recruit Key Roles</strong></p><p style="text-align: justify;">Avoid key vacancies, by recruiting (and re-recruiting current staff) proactively, so that the company does not have gaps that cause pressure in the system and anxiety to team members who feel short-staffed.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Anticipate, and build a pipeline. Investing in your workforce has an ROI when you ensure bench strength, allow for internal mobility, and hire for anticipatory needs to ensure consistent outcomes.</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Rigorously Retain Star Players</strong></p><p style="text-align: justify;">Position benefits, incentives, and compensation packages encourage employees for the long term. Signing bonuses, annual reviews, and performance bonuses are necessary but expensive for short-term gain.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Be creative and position your incentives to be longer-term &ndash; think pension, multi-year incentive plans, paying for education, etc.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The cost of turnover likely outweighs the cost of these creative avenues many have vacated. Regular 1:1's with key staff are essential - but need to be intentional, predictable, and consistent. The key is communication - front-line decision-making and helping employees feel they belong by "connecting the dots" to know that their feedback, input, and decisions are contemplated.</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 10pt;"><em>This article was contributed by our expert <a href="">Erika Duncan</a></em></span></p><p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p><h3 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 18pt;">Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Erika Duncan&nbsp;</span></h3><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">1. Why is it essential for leaders to measure employee satisfaction?&nbsp;</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">Measuring engagement and satisfaction is crucial for leaders to understand the culture and team climate. Regular feedback allows leaders to anticipate issues, lead through change, and address concerns before there are visible gaps in team outcomes. &nbsp;</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">2. How can measuring employee engagement identify gaps that ultimately impact retention?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">Engagement data helps the HR professional know how to intervene, ask additional questions, and probe further into situations of workforce planning, psychological safety, legal risk, etc. - topics that plague most organizations today.</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">3. How can engagement data positively impact retention?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">Engagement data allows you to build trust &ndash; the foundation of retaining employees.&nbsp;</p><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">Communicate the results with leaders and ensure their understanding of the apparent feedback and the subtlety embedded in the feedback (s).</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Transparently speak with the team regularly and gain their trust, so they know you will share results confidentially but honestly.&nbsp;</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Connect the dots quarterly to ensure staff knows they are being heard. A simple example is "we heard you say...." "because of that, we did/didn't...."</li></ul><p>Even if the answer is "no" or "not now," always communicate transparently and explain the "why" to connect feedback to action.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
KR Expert - Erika Duncan

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