The world has changed, and organizations are dealing with new issues affecting profitability and productivity. Health concerns, political polarization, social issues, and governmental regulations have created challenges such as declining morale, eroded trust in leadership, and the need for a more inclusive organizational culture. These issues have resulted in lower productivity and increased turnover, causing the bottom-line profitability of the organization to decrease. These factors are also making it more challenging for organizations to find new employees.
The need for organizations to act both strategically and urgently to engage and retain employees has never been more important. Many organizations have systemic problems that keep them from addressing these issues. This is problematic when high performers can work from anywhere virtually and choose from multiple organizations that foster a healthy cultural environment.
It is time to develop a robust strategy to address these issues and keep these valuable employees. Examine the three-pronged engagement and retention strategy by focusing on turnover data, mobility, and inclusion.
First, look at why people leave your organization. What are the key turnover points for your workforce in general? Is it ninety days, six months, three years? Is there a specific department that produces the most turnover such as Development, Customer Service, IT, or Sales? Or, do these turnover points vary by diversity factors, for example: Do women leave sooner?
Executive leadership must get a clear picture of what is going on and deeply understand the cause of these trends so they can build an effective retention strategy.
Second, examine the mobility employees may or may not have. Mobility refers to the deployment of internal employees whether it be promotions, lateral moves, or job rotation. Are employees encouraged to apply for new roles within their organization?
Mobility is a key motivational factor for the younger generations in the workforce. These employees like to be developed and like to know there is room to grow in the organization. Building an effective retention strategy will require this strategic factor to be addressed by the organization.
Finally, leaders have to examine if the organization promotes an inclusive culture. When you have an inclusive culture, you are making a conscious effort to help people feel that they belong. Be aware that subtle messages, such as who gets high-profile assignments on the team, who gets invited to meetings, or how people are recognized can affect the perception of inclusion by employees.
Defining what behaviors are acceptable and expected from leaders and employees at all levels, establishing well-documented policies, and then training everyone on them will help create a culture of inclusion.
Organizations that ignore employee engagement and retention will be at a disadvantage. Strategically addressing employee engagement and retention can help keep high-performing employees and increase organizational performance. Examining and implementing a strategy around turnover data, mobility, and inclusion will give your organization the edge to succeed today and in the future.