Make retention your recovery strategy to keep your best people engaged in challenging times.
Here are some tips from top HR executives to help you create an effective retention strategy.
A recent CNN report stated that nearly 80% of the work force will be seeking new jobs in 2011. Although that number seems a bit exaggerated, downsizing and cut-backs have placed greater stresses on the top performers in most organizations and many are disenchanted. Top players with proven track records in their organizations may still be reluctant to make career moves in this market. But reports of a jobless recovery shouldn’t lull executives into a false sense of security.. If your organization hasn’t formally created a retention strategy now is the time to start.
We interviewed several top HR executives who have implemented successful retention strategies and found that the most effective programs are top down initiatives that focus on employee recognition, development and open communication. Creating and maintaining high levels of engagement throughout the organization should be the ultimate goal of every retention strategy. So C-level executives and officers should be prepared to lead by example by engaging in new management, mentoring and communication initiatives.
“If the top 20% of your highest performers haven’t had a major new assignment in the past 2 years then you are only giving lip service to developing your talent and you may be in danger of losing them. “
HR executive at a Fortune 100 company Download our Retention Strategy Brief
Top performers need to know they are valued and have a future with the company. This requires consistent communication and good management skills throughout the organization. In many companies, management training has taken a back seat to technical training. Top performers can be alienated by inexperienced managers so it’s essential to create a retention playbook and train your managers.
Job rotation and special assignments are an important part of any retention strategy, according to one HR executive. This executive has learned that comfort leads to complacency and attrition. Top performers expect organizations to provide challenging developmental opportunities that place them outside their comfort zones. He believes, “If the top 20% of your highest performers haven’t had a major new assignment in the past 2 years, then you are only giving lip service to developing your talent. You may be in danger of losing them.”
Our experience, research and relationships have provided some interesting insights about creating successful retention strategies. We’ve created a Retention Strategy Brief to share some of our findings.