This is the 21st century and the workplace continues to evolve even as the workforce changes. Passion is the driving force but the pattern and attitude is channelled differently. Majority of employees want to feel good about their work and be committed to a goal that really excites them.
Once there is a sense of disconnect they start to explore and move on very quickly. Employees in the workplace now want to feel that their voices are being heard and can almost be termed restless these days for various obvious and not so obvious reasons.
Some can be attributed to indiscipline, lack of commitment to stay the long haul or immaturity while others are really actions and inactions of line leaders being accountable for creating a conducive workplace.
With the Baby Boomers retiring over the next few years and the Generation X and millennials groomed to take over the workforce in most organisations including yours, employee retention has become a more critical subject.
The best time to start to think about employee retention is during the hiring process. As you interview people, look out for how he or she fits your corporate culture. Attitude is critical. It is better to hire a round peg to fit a round hole than to hire a square peg with the aim of chiselling him or her without their permission into fitting the round hole you plan to fill.
If the job does not spark the passion which could fuel long-term employment, then there is no point hiring the individual. If you do, you have only postponed doomsday. It is better to hire a rough round peg with the intention to smoothen the edges to perfectly fit the available round hole than to hire a shape out of place.
The next best time to start to think about retention is during induction – the critical first 90 days. Is there a process in place to kick-start employee engagement at your organisation or is it viewed as just a to-do on HR’s agenda?
Leaving it solely as a responsibility for HR is like being a parent and delegating the upbringing of your ward or child exclusively to the teacher at school to handle. We all know how that breeds various levels of dysfunctionality.
Every employee you hire into your organisation is an investment in the future. To ensure you are making the best investment, the kind that will have long-term potential, you need to keep employee retention in view as you hire.
Are your line leaders considering employee retention as they interview potential hires in your organisation? Or is it still solely HR’s responsibility?
Its February 2015…how long would it take to have employee retention as an agenda item at your exco meeting?
Ngozi Adebiyi is the lead consultant at OutsideIn HR. Our focus is practical interventions that address the challenges of businesses today. We specialise in HR business partnering, engagement & retention with the goal of “Revolutionising HR in Nigeria”. [email protected]