Employee Retention Takes on Greater Importance as Economy Brightens
EAST GREENWICH, RI – Top independent consultants believe retaining high performing employees will become more important to organizations as the economy continues to improve, according to The Society for the Advancement of Consulting® (SAC).
Leadership Drives Retention
“Retention must become a top priority,” points out Lisa Anderson,known as The Manufacturing ConnectorSMand President of LMA Consulting Group, Inc.., Claremont, CA.According to a research study conducted by LMA Consulting and APICS Inland Empire, 87 percent of manufacturers and distributors are struggling with skills gaps.”
“As the economy booms and insourcing grows, those companies that retain top talent will thrive. Retention doesn’t have to be complex. Provide value-added work with opportunities for growth.”
“It begins and ends with leadership. Top leaders not only retain but they also attract top talent,” Anderson adds.
Executive Coaching Key Piece of Strategy
Gayle Lantz, founder of WorkMatters (www.workmatters.com) and creator of the new My Daily Coach app (www.workmatters.com/mydailycoach), is seeing increased interest in executive coaching as part of employee retention strategies. Coaching is being used more frequently as a retention tool for leaders who are performing well and want to position themselves for new growth and leadership opportunities.
She explains, “Assessment tools are used in the coaching process to help executives gain insights about their strengths and areas to develop. Coaching creates a win-win for the organization and the person being coached.” According to Lantz, “Aligning the aspirations of the executive with the goals of the organization is key.”
Younger Employees Want to Contribute
“The strong economy means your competitors will be looking for your best employees,” says Rebecca Morgan, President of Fulcrum ConsultingWorks, Inc. in Cleveland, OH and Industry Week IdeaXchange Xpert. Morgan, also known as the Oracle of OperationsSM, adds “Gen Y and Gen i employees are more likely to consider other options than are Baby Boomers. If you haven’t been tapping all they have to offer, you better start now. They insist on the challenge.”
Love ‘Em Or Lose ‘Em
Dr. Maynard Brusman,a consulting psychologist, executive coach, and workplace expert specializing in emotional intelligence and mindfulness-based leadership development, www.workingresources.comnotes, “Companies compete to keep the best employees using pay and benefits. But research shows the most important element in retaining key employees is their manager. Great managers motivate people by building on their strengths rather than trying to fix their weaknesses. They encourage people to find the right fit for their strengths with the values and culture of the organization.”
According to Dr. Brusman,“Some organizations offer concierge services to run errands, pet-sitting, gym programs, and chair massages to retain employees. More enlightened organizations will create meaningful work to engage and enable the hearts, minds, and yes, even the souls of people at work. This engagement is far more important than bonuses, perks and even foot massages. It is primordial to retaining talented people.”
Engaged Employees Can Make or Break the Organization
Successful marketing initiatives rely on engaged, involved employees, according to marketing expert Linda Popky, president of Redwood Shores, CA-based strategic marketing firm Leverage2Market Associates, and author of the forthcoming book Marketing Above the Noise: Achieve Strategic Advantage with Marketing That Matters.
“That’s why retention is so important. Customers build ongoing relationships with employees and they expect continuity in terms of whom they interact with and who serves them,” she said. “Retaining good employees is important not just from an HR perspective, but also to deliver a powerful customer experience that reinforces the organization’s key marketing messages, allowing the company to stand out from the crowd.”
Quality, not Quantity
According to SAC CEO Alan Weiss, PhD, “Employee retention will turn on the question, ‘Who do we need for the future and who do we have who can fill those needs?’
“In a poorer economy, a great deal of high talent was ‘on the street,’ but that’s no longer true. Conversely, it’s not time to settle instead of select. Retention will be a function of quality, not numbers,” Weiss noted.