The Sharpening Stone – Pay Attention to Retention

When business leaders were surveyed about the top threat to their business for the rest of 2021, it wasn’t inflation or supply chain disruptions to production that came out on top.  The majority of respondents said “Hiring and Retention”. In fact, 77% of companies expect to encounter a talent shortage; and according to the report, 86% of employers are currently hiring.

But while a significant amount of effort is going into recruiting, it is my assertion that as much energy and more attention needs to go into retention of your existing employees.

According to recent nationwide surveys, anywhere from 25% to upwards of 40% of workers are thinking about quitting their jobs.  With a tight labor market, retaining the talent on your team is paramount.

Just like your customers, your employees have needs that you can help with.  You can start by identifying what those needs are in various areas such as; Financial, Social, Career, Emotional, and develop “wellness solutions” that address questions such as:  How do we care for our employees? What are the ways we’re investing in, and developing, them? How are we making sure our best people are happy in their roles, feeling motivated and appreciated?

As an example, let’s take Financial Wellness. Your immediate thought might be “More Money”. But Financial Wellness solutions are designed to provide the employee help on managing burdens such as student debt or healthcare costs.  Employees were financially stressed before the pandemic and are likely to be even more so now. Another example: Some 70% of workers say a boost in employer contributions to their retirement plans would help, but guidance on retirement planning would be even better.

As for Social Wellness – How can you carve out time for fun and celebration?  You can look at creating opportunities and environments for your employees to connect and get to know each other on a more personal level.

Employees want to know that they have a future with your organization.  Can you partner with colleges or trade schools to further develop your workforce?  Are there opportunities to have someone mentor a younger employee?  As I mentioned in a previous Sharpening Stone video called “Next One Up”, everyone should have a development plan.

Employees want to know they’re appreciated.  How are you recognizing your workers for the job they do? Have you thought about sending them a handwritten note, taking them out to lunch, or buying them coffee?

Don’t know where to start?  Consider surveying your employees and have them provide feedback in these and other areas.

People are your most important asset in your organization.  Pay Attention to Retention by listening to, and learning from, your Employees; then create and implement solutions that meet their needs.  The result will be more engaged employees to serve and provide great products and services for your customers.

About the Author: Steve Erb

Steve is a graduate of Purdue University where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics / Statistics, and Villanova University, where he received his MBA. Steve’s career has included senior leadership positions with two Fortune500 companies in Procurement, Logistics, Supply Chain, and Operations. Steve also built out the Organizational Development/HR department for a software technology firm and was a key part of seven (7) acquisitions over a 2-year period; as well as developing a successful compensation strategy and structure.

Steve’s expertise lies in developing operations strategies that eliminate redundancies; streamline processes/systems; and deliver productivity, quality, and efficiency gains. Steve has a proven reputation for caring for employees and teams, resulting in an overriding “Servant Leadership” mentality that transforms company cultures and creates a sense of employee engagement and accountability. Steve is also known for his change management expertise and ability to gain credibility to align performance drivers, customer expectations, and initiate continuous improvement across multi-site operations.

The Sharpening Stone

The Sharpening Stone is a series of short videos from True Edge designed to sharpen leaders and their organizations.

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