Employee Retention
Credit: Adobe

Even though the Great Resignation saw many organizations without the requisite number of workers in a number of industries, a recent study suggests that employee retention is still not a focal point for businesses. Research conducted by Time is Ltd. illustrates that holding on to workers currently employed has still not become priority despite a major turnover among many enterprises.

Employee turnover, by the numbers

The survey conducted of 255 HR leaders at large U.S. companies illustrates that just 39% of HR leaders say improving retention is a top objective in their businesses. By contrast, 94% of HR leaders believe that employees’ experience at their company to be important, but a disconnect exists between the hiring department and the current state of the workforce. This discrepancy between the views of hiring managers and executives leads to unsustainable amounts of brain drain, as employees look for work elsewhere when experience at a company is deemed unsatisfactory.

By and large, the unsatisfactory employee experience is leading to high amounts of turnover within several companies around the U.S. as 61% of HR executives believe that retention rates for those hired during the pandemic will be lower than pre-pandemic rates. Of the businesses included in the survey, 76% stated they were experiencing more year-over-year employee departures and 68% of enterprises have a turnover rate higher than 10%.

“If employees are happy, challenged, rewarded and recognized, and treated with respect, they are more likely to stay at your organization,” said Sara Cohen, Chief People Officer at Forsta. “Prioritizing the employee experience, which is central to talent retention, should always be a top priority for HR professionals – especially in the tech industry where the demand for software engineers and other highly skilled talent is consistently high. At the end of the day, employee retention is an HR professional’s most important job, and most of what we do should ladder back up to it.”

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What can your business do to improve employee engagement?

Four key points are highlighted by Time Is Ltd. in the executive summary when it comes to improving employee experiences, namely:

1. Too many unnecessary meetings

Optimizing the number and frequency of meetings can allow enterprises to build a more effective culture when it comes to getting work done, and the effect it can have on employee experiences. With the move to hybrid and remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have overbooked their employees, causing them to feel burnt out and not having enough time to get work done. Remedying this can lead to more effective and efficient employees.

2. The need to manage collaboration tools

Secondly, the number of collaboration tools employees have had to utilize during the pandemic has gotten out of hand at some workplaces. Having to manage email communication, instant messaging, video conferencing and file sharing at the same time can also lead to workers feeling overwhelmed when it comes to remote work. Streamlining these systems to utilize only the ones that are absolutely necessary can make employees more productive as they are not forced to comb through a multitude of systems to find a piece of information that is needed.

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3. Improved recruitment and onboarding of new employees

Of the HR leaders surveyed, 40% said that onboarding is an important factor when considering employee retention moving forward. An ineffective onboarding process can leave incoming workers without the resources or connections needed to be successful when it comes to wading through processes, tools and company culture. The study found that companies with higher turnover rates were more likely to be impacted by significant challenges when it came to onboarding new employees. If companies fixate on streamlining their recruitment, hiring and onboarding pipelines and onboarding processes with a quality applicant tracking system, this will allow incoming employees to be more productive and have a higher chance of remaining with the organization.

4. Give team leaders the tools needed to be successful

Lastly, HR leaders need to be entrusted with the appropriate tools to be effective in employee engagement. Fifty-nine percent of HR leaders said that effective engagement leads to improved productivity metrics, and 45% said this leads to improved employee motivation and retention. By providing leaders with the data and means to improve the levels of employee engagement, the rate of turnover can be decreased.

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