In our last blog we touched upon employee retention and why, at least from a cost perspective, it’s important for businesses.
Now, many business owners, hiring managers & HR bods know about the most common staff retention practices. For instance;
The benefits package: Well, as we all know, salary is one of the keys to staff retention, low pay can mean high staff turnover (your valuable time wasted in training, just for someone else to offer a few thousand more over the year & poach your best talent). So keep an eye on the prize or, better still, your competitors.
In the current climate though it doesn’t all have to be about the money – the benefits can make a huge difference. Personal health plans, gym memberships, even an interest-free loan for travel expenses can make a mountain of difference. It’s about what it’s WORTH to the employee; i.e. a personal health plan meaning they get money back on optical, dental & other health benefits may save your superstar over £1000 in the year – meaning their salary package is worth more (the fact it only costs you a few pounds per month makes this a worthwhile investment).
Company commitment to Professional Development: An employee who feels they have good access to professional development opportunities & feels that their company wants to invest in them, will ultimately want to move on up through the ranks. Retaining employees for as long as possible means that you hang on to their expertise & talent long enough for them to start paying it forward. It’s much cheaper to train new employees with your current staff rather than having to use top end management to continually go through the motions.
Lead by example & learning: If these traits are practised by company executives from the top down all staff will eventually follow suit. It becomes absorbed into your business plan & the ethos by which everyone works. It even filters into your business’ social presence & responsibilities.
So – How attractive is your Employee Value Proposition (EVP)?
Stewart Black, INSEAD Affiliate Professor of Organisational Behaviour has outlined what an EVP should be about:
Studies show that strong leadership is the single most powerful feature in motivating and keeping employees. He says workers understand that poor leadership will impact on not only the success of the company, but the quality of the work environment, and an employee’s own ability to develop and build a career.
“People do care about the quality of leadership and they also care about the company’s ability to identify and develop leaders, including eventually themselves”.
This encompasses everything about the firm – reputation, values, culture and its contributions to the world and the community. Employees might be willing to work longer hours or for less compensation for a company with stronger corporate values or a better reputation.
“A few years ago Exxon was not the greatest company to work for, just after the Valdez (oil spill in Alaska). Not very long ago, Enron was not a company that you’d want to work for. So the reputation, the culture, those sort of things matter,” he says.
This involves many of the day-to-day aspects of a job. How interesting and compelling is the work? Can employees grow and be fulfilled in their jobs? Do they have the resources and training to achieve their goals?
“In particular, how much freedom, autonomy, growth and challenge do I have in the job that I am asked to do? How interesting is the job?”
This is what most people think of when they think about employee compensation: wages and benefits. But rewards also include intangibles such as career prospects, development opportunities and social contact with co-workers.