Employee Retention: It’s a Whole New Ballgame

(First published in the Insider Business Journal, October, 2000)

“Help Wanted.”
“Now Hiring.”
“Immediate Interviews with Manager.”

It seems as if these are the only banners that decorate the business district these days. And the classifieds are brimming with offers for employment as well. However, attracting new employees is not the only hurdle for employers to overcome. Keeping them brings its own set of challenges.

Employee retention – definitely buzzwords in the new millennium. Now that you’ve got them, how do you keep them? What makes an employee stay with a company?

There are two types of employee incentive. One is the traditional type of benefit package: Pay, insurance, retirement plans, work schedules, etc.- things that are fairly concrete and could be negotiated or bargained for. They can be lined up and specific comparisons can be made about them. People often make decisions for employment based on those types of perks.

There’s another kind of incentive that, in the end, may be even more powerful in the fight to retain employees. It has to do with the organizational culture and how your employees feel about working there. Organizational culture surveys conducted over the past decade indicate that employees are often more concerned about how they are treated and how they fit in with an organization than with their compensation packages. In addition to feeling like a vital part of the team, they want opportunities to contribute, to develop their skills, and to receive regular feedback.

The Gallup Organization conducted interviews of more than 80,000 managers across a broad range of industries. One of the conclusions drawn from those interview was that employees tend to leave managers, not companies. So while an employee may join a company because of a great benefit package or its opportunities for advancement, how long that employee stays and how productive he or she is during his or her tenure may be determined by the relationship with his or her immediate supervisor.

Therefore, the ABCs of employee retention have graduated from NOP (Nice Options & Perks) to GHI (Gotta Have Its). Benefits packages must go beyond pay and insurance. Your organizational culture must promote a sense of belonging, worth, and inclusion for all employees. Employee retention has moved to a new level. The organizations that rise to meet the expectations of their employees will be the winners in this game.

by Pam Wyess
(c)2001 NetWork Training Group. All rights reserved.

Posted by Pam Wyess in Employee Rentetion.

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