Monthly Archives: April 2013

How to Improve Employee Retention: Motivation is Not Enough

Bonuses, holiday days, office parties, and flexible working are many of the tools in a business owner’s arsenal revolve around rewarding employees for a job well done and motivating them to produce similarly stunning results in the future. But surely the leaders who dole out these types of perks are only focusing on half of the picture.

There are “two issues generally going on with employees at any given time: there are ‘shoves,’ things that demotivate people, and then there are ‘tugs,’ the things that motivate you, that tug at you to stay at the organisation,”. While these factors will differ for every employee, leaders often make the mistake of focusing on the motivators without adequately considering what rubs people the wrong way.

Do you implement “Positive turnover”?

We often talk about retention and keeping people within a business, but during this period of slow growth are companies taking advantage of implementing “positive turnover” into their retention strategy?

What is “Positive turnover”?

In a Business setting, the goal of employers is usually to decrease employee turnover, thereby decreasing training costs, recruitment costs and loss of talent and organisational knowledge. By implementing lessons learned from key organisational behaviour concepts employers can improve retention rates and decrease the associated costs of high turnover. However, this isn’t always the case. Employers can seek “positive turnover” whereby they aim to maintain only those employees who they consider to be high performers.

A business needs to ensure that any attempts to implement “positive turnover” is done carefully, as if not done with the appropriate benchmarking criteria then it could become discriminatory to employees.

What is Retention?

For a while now I have done research into what people within HR and Businesses believe by retention. The following statement summarises what the average view is:

Employee retention is the effort by employers to encourage current employees to remain employed with the organisation. Programs such as learning and development, rewards, and recognition, succession planning and providing policies and practices that address their needs are examples of ways of retaining employees. 

I believe that although this is true it also fails to properly define true retention. Retention is often overlooked regarding knowledge and skills. It is impossible for a business to retain the employees forever. Businesses need to ensure that their retention plans also achieve to retain knowledge and skills, with the right training plans and mentoring in place businesses should be able to ensure nothing is lost from the business.

Like most things with HR I believe it’s important to get the balance right, if done correctly the employee, mentor and business will benefit and become more competitive.