The median tenure for employees across industries in Poughkeepsie, NY, and around the world is shortening as younger generations assimilate into the working demographic. These days, the average term at an employer is three years, give or take job industry, job-type, and job-leveling. Employee retention has broad implications for a company’s culture and balance sheet. From a purely financial perspective, staffing and rehiring costs include recruiting time, training, and the time it takes for the replacement employee to perform at the contribution level of the former employee. From a cultural standpoint, employee retention can have a meaningful impact on employee engagement. Another consideration is the leveling of the employee who is leaving. When senior employees leave, it is often a negative signal for the company as a whole. The decision to stay or leave a company is individual; however, the happiness and wellness of an employee in their professional work environment is ultimately and usually the deciding factor.
A company should think holistically when thinking about maximizing employee retention. Although singular factors can contribute to an employee’s decision to leave, more often than not, the decision has built up over time. Instead of asking the question, “how can we maximize employee retention,” one should ask, “how can we create the most enjoyable workplace possible?” The answers to this question are found in workplaces where people don’t want to leave. They include:
- A clear mission and values: Every company should be very clear on its mission and values. The mission encompasses what it does and what it hopes to do through its products and services. Employees who have clarity on their role and how it contributes to the company’s overall mission are more often engaged. Company values determine what kind of employee the leadership hopes to see in its organization. Values guide leadership and hiring throughout all tiers of an organization.
- Good management: At the end of the day, managers are the ones driving out business strategy. They have direct contact with the resources (individual contributors) and interact most closely with customers and frontline employees. It’s critical to pay attention to the middle managers of a company by investing in their growth, offering job advancement opportunities, and including and informing them in high-level decisions. The sentiment of people with authority carries down the chain of command — happy managers make happy teams.
- Thorough onboarding: If you believe that first impressions matter, then you know that the onboarding experience matters. The onboarding experience is the time that the employee forms their most critical characterization of the company they are working for. If the onboarding experience is disheveled, disorganized, and informal, an employee will take that impression into their attitude toward the workplace. If onboarding is organized, welcoming, and impactful (for example, new hires get visibility into other departments and meet the senior leadership), a good impression can go a long way.
- A diverse leadership team: In a world where more and more people of diverse backgrounds are entering the workforce and making it up the ladder, it’s important to have a diverse leadership team. The senior executives who make the decisions should not be concentrated in any singular “type” (all-male, all-caucasian, all-business school graduates from the same school, etc.). Diversity creates the most inclusive and fair workplace.
Employee retention is easy when the workplace is enjoyable. Who is accountable for employee retention? The organization. The senior leaders. The manager. And the individual. Sometimes, employee exits are unavoidable, and the employee should be given the grace to find a company environment that makes them want to stay. However, if given the four points listed, an employee would be hard-pressed to leave.
SMART Staffing Group, Inc. is a certified Minority and Woman-Owned business that has served the Hudson Valley region since 2014. We’re proud to specialize in staffing and recruiting to 1) Help businesses build a strategy around talent and 2) Match talented professionals with fulfilling careers for the modern world.