Employers underestimate the challenge of employee retention

Four out of ten employees will most likely be seeking a job in the next year, but two-thirds of employers surveyed by the Robert Half firm are not concerned about retention of their workforce. Is there a problem?

The Robert Half firm surveyed more than 400 Canadian professionals 18 years old and over, as well as 270 employers. While 43% of employees were considering changing their job within one year, 66% of employers had no concerns about employee retention. This is a significant discrepancy, according to Nelson Teixeira, director at Robert Half. “There are these two opposing views between managers and employees, two management cultures that need to be reconciled.”

Although 39% of employers believe that it is the lack of possibilities for career development or advancement opportunities that cause employees to change jobs, 28% of employees say that inadequate salary or benefits are the main reason for them to look elsewhere. A lack of possibilities for advancement, lack of recognition and lack of interest in the work follow, almost equally.

Nelson Teixeira believes that this disparity comes from the difficulty leaders have in putting themselves in their employees’ shoes. “Managers often reason according to their own experiences,” he explains. “A CEO may want to change jobs to have more challenges rather than to earn more money. This is not necessarily the case for all employees, who come from all walks of life. For some of them, money is still key, even though it’s not the only reason for changing jobs.”

To be profitable, a company has to be able to count on stable and reliable staff, which implies a lower rate of staff turnover. Staff turnover generates a significant cost to the company, which must invest in recruitment and training of new employees. “Losing an employee results in a net loss for the company. It’s a hidden cost that many managers overlook. Not only does the company lose knowledge, but this knowledge can end up serving a competitor,” explains Nelson Teixeira.

How to improve employee retention

  • Measure the satisfaction of your employees

     It is important to know where the company has to focus its efforts to make its employees happier, to encourage them to stay on the job.

  • Offer competitive salaries

    A few thousand dollars can often make the difference between constant staff turnover and a stable workforce.

  • Reward high-performing employees

    Employees who reach their goals, measured objectively, should receive an interesting bonus in order to motivate them.

  • Show recognition

    Being grateful to your employees, for their work and their dedication works wonders in terms of satisfaction and employee retention. A simple “thank you” is very profitable!

  • Guide your employees

    Being an inspiring leader is more effective to assure the loyalty of your employees than acting as a simple day-to-day manager. To do this requires listening and getting involved in developing your employees.

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