November 4, 2012

MU0017 [Talent Management & Employee Retention] Set1 Q4

Q.4 Discuss some strategies to improve employee retention?


The organisations are facing many issues when the recruiters find it tough to identify skilled and more challenging younger workforce, and an increasing number of older workforces heading towards retirement. The complexity in identifying and maintaining talented people is having a disastrous impact on many businesses throughout the world. According to the investigations, one out of every three people plan on quitting their jobs every year. The biggest challenge that the employers face is the risk of losing their best and skilled talent to the competition.

Money and benefits are essential, but still according to the survey; it is evident that most employees leave their jobs for different reasons. Apparently, some turnover is inevitable, but still with a small amount of organisational effort can make a huge difference.

Top 20 strategies to improve employee retention

It is evident that turnover is expensive. According to the recent survey done, it is found that the average expense to substitute a leaving employee is 30 percent of that employee’s salary. The full amount includes expenses incurred while the position is vacant, for example, overtime expenses for other employees or the expense of hiring temporary employees; the expenses associated with identifying and choosing a substitute employee (including advertisements, interviews, and referral bonuses); and expenses on training the new employee.

Given below is the list of 20 main strategies adopted to build dedication and loyalty among employees and enhancing the department’s retention rate:

1. Propose reasonable and competitive salaries: Employee loyalty is assured by both reasonable compensation and offering reasonable salary. Regular salary reviews are conducted for various job designations entry-level and experienced workforce to retain employees.

2. Consider the benefits: Although benefits are not the main reasons for employees to work in a company, the benefits offered must not be obviously worse than those offered by the opponent companies.

3. Guide supervisors, managers, and administrators: It is not often true that employees stay or quit the company because of their bosses and not because of their companies. It is very crucial to have a good employee/manager rapport for employee satisfaction and retention. The managers should be properly trained to develop good supervisory and people-management skills.

4. Clearly the job roles and responsibilities: Prepare an official job description for all the positions in the department. Ensure that employees have a clear idea about what is expected from their job and what kind of own decisions they are allowed to make, and to whom they are supposed to report.

5. Offer sufficient improvement opportunities: Implement a career ladder and ensure that employees know what to do to get promoted and this in turn encourages employee loyalty. Regular performance reviews need to be conducted to recognise employees’ strengths and weaknesses. This enables them to progress in areas that are essential for job advancement. A clear and advanced professional growth plan helps employees earn their incentive based on their performance.

6. Propose retention bonuses instead of offering sign-on bonuses: The employees are provided with longevity allowance and are normally rewarded with an annual raise and added vacation time after three, five or 10 years. Offering other seniority-based incentives would be a better option for developing a retention rate, for example, providing a paid membership in the employee’s professional union, a paid membership to a local sports club, and full compensation for the expense of the employee’s uniforms. Sign-on bonuses support technologists to change their jobs, whereas retention bonuses offer incentives for staying.

7. Hold somebody answerable for retention: Determine the turnover rate and hold someone responsible for reducing it.

8. Perform employee satisfaction review: An unspecified employee satisfaction review must be performed on a regular basis to determine the pulse of workplace.

9. Promote a teamwork environment: Although more time and effort is required to build an efficient team, but the output will be improved productivity with better usage of resources and enhanced customer service and increased confidence.
Given below are some ideas to promote a teamwork environment in a particular department:
• Ensure that all employees realise the department’s purpose, task or goal.
• Encourage conversation, participation and contribution of ideas.
• Rotate leadership tasks and roles based on employees’ abilities and the team requirements.
• Engage employees in decision making and allow them to make decisions through agreement and teamwork.
• Support team members to appreciate their colleagues for their advanced performance or achievement.

10. Avoid the paperwork trouble: Paperwork pressures can make employees feel more stressful and burnout. Reduce needless paperwork; change more paperwork to an electronic format; and appoint non-clinical organisational staff to look after the paperwork burden.

11. Have some fun: Recognise when the targets are achieved and celebration for successes are necessary in a fun-filled environment. Team lunch or dinner, birthday parties, team outings, and creative contests will make people think that the company is a great place to work.

12. Develop a mission statement for all the departments: All the employees must work towards a meaningful and valuable goal or mission. Hence, develop a departmental goal statement working with the staff and later publicise it for everyone to see. Ensure that employees understand their contribution to the organisation is very crucial.

13. Offer a variety of tasks: Identify employees’ talents and then motivate them to widen their abilities into new fields. A variety of challenging assignments or tasks assist in keeping the workplace inspiring.

14. Ensure an open communication: It is evident that most of the employees are dedicated to a company when they believe that their managers keep them informed about major organisational issues. Hence, an open interaction between the employees and the managers is necessary, and it is nearly impractical for a manager to "over-communicate."

15. Promote learning: Provide opportunities for the technical team to grow and learn. Provide them compensation for seminars and professional meetings; talk about current journal articles with them; allow them to explore a new scheduling technique for the department. Inspire employees to know about at least one new thing regularly, and create a work force that is energised, encouraged, and committed.

16. Be flexible: It is a known fact that today’s employees are committed outside their job, which often includes responsibility for children, aging parents, persistent health conditions, and other problems. They will be dedicated to workplaces only when their lives are made more convenient by providing them onsite childcare centres, onsite hair styling and dry cleaning, flexible working hours, part-time positions, job-sharing, so on. For example, employees who have children of school-age would like to work nine months a year and would like to spend the summer vacation with their children.

17. Create an efficient orientation program: Adopt an official orientation program which includes a methodical overview of all the areas of department and an introduction to other departments. Allot a senior staff member as a tutor to the new employee during the orientation period. Create a checklist of topics with the employees to ensure that all the topics related to orientation are effectively addressed.

18. Hire aides: Consider hiring aides who can carry out non-clinical tasks in the radiology department to enhance both confidence and productivity among the technical team. These aides help in office duties, transport patients and process films.

19. Provide employees the best equipment and supplies: No employee would prefer to work with equipment that is old or that is facing continuous breakdown problems. Ensure that the equipment is in suitable working condition, and frequently upgrade machines, computers and software. Additionally, provide employees with the best quality resource materials that are affordable.

20. Ensure employees that they are valued: Identify excellent achievements promptly and openly. Also, focus on small achievements that employees make on a daily basis to the organisation’s mission.

Retention is a method of enabling the members or volunteers to remain active with in an organisation. Retention mainly focuses on preserving a convenient environment, member morale, and organisational growth. 
o A pool of members who have the ability to be the future leaders. 
o A strong pointer for organisational success. 
o A happy organisational environment. 
o A group of members who come to your help when required. 

Keys to strong retention: 
Involvement: Allow involvement of members with program planning and execution, to help with organisational features and programming. It is important to note that members usually hate attending meetings for long hours and hearing to what the leaders speak. So, offering them some encouragement will help them to be an active participant in such organisational activities. For example, encouraging employees to involve in their assigned task and perform well in the form of incentives or performance appraisals.

Ownership: Allow the members to contribute in decision making or give them a chance to openly raise their voice for their needs, interests, and opinions. Also allows them to involve in taking up the ownership. For example, if an employee has any issue with the decision made by the organisation regarding some their assigned tasks, then he can raise his voice against the decision and put forward his viewpoint on that. He must also be in a position to take up the ownership of the assigned task.

Benefits: Propose some benefits or incentives for members to be active in the organisation. Benefits can be physical, vague, or both. For example, if the employee is consistently performing well, then he can be rewarded for his performance in the form of performance bonus or incentives. 

Some of the retention strategies include: 
Conversations: Active conversations with members help in creating a convenient working environment and making sure that members have a secure feeling in the organisation. It is not mandatory that conversations must deal with organisational business or concerns, but instead a small-talk and chit-chat are enough. 

Updates: Regular updates through emails, news-sheet, websites, or meetings help in sustaining a high-level of interest as it is evident that people may lose their interest in an organisation if they do not get constant updates about what the organisation is planning for. 

General meetings: General meetings are the most accepted methodologies adopted by an organisation to circulate information and update members. However, the main disadvantage with general meetings is that they are inactive wherein members simply sit and listen to what the leaders speak. These meetings must also focus on getting members involved in some activity.

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