The Great Resignation was among the top headlines in 2021. It highlighted the significance of employee retention. Even though most businesses are aware that the expense of replacing employees is substantial, management is still not putting enough emphasis on retaining their personnel. The possibility is that the failure occurred due to a lack of serious effort or an inability to implement retention effectively. In any case, knowing the interrelationship between turnover, talent management, and retention is critical for HR decision-makers.
The Global Business and Organizational Excellence journal published their research done in 2021 to investigate talent management practices as a strategic technique for employee retention, to control employee turnover intentions, and to analyze how talent management practices affect employee retention and turnover intentions. This article will go over each of the sub-objectives, hypotheses, and associated outcomes, and then draw conclusions.
Before diving into the study, it may be worth taking into account the employed research method. The proposed hypotheses are tested using a quantitative method-multiple linear regression. The samples used are 236 responses from Indian IT companies.
The following are the four sub-objectives that influenced the research on retention intentions:
Recruitment and selection
The first hypothesis is framed in terms of the impact of recruitment and selection on employee retention: “The higher the degree of satisfaction with the recruitment and selection process, the higher the rate of employee retention.” The result shows that it has a positive effect on employee retention intentions, but was not statistically significant. This means that the recruitment and selection process can affect employee retention intentions, but is not as significant as other practices discussed later.
Performance and career management
The second hypothesis states that “Employee performance and career management positively affect turnover and retention intentions.” This means that employees who have opportunities for development and career progression are more likely to stay in the company for a longer period of time and feel happier and more loyal to their employers.
Teamwork and management support
The research’s third hypothesis is that “Teamwork and management support positively affect employee retention intentions.” This proposition is also statistically supported by the result, meaning that teamwork and management support increases employee retention intentions. The result showed that teamwork and management support increases an employee’s retention intentions. Employees that work as a team form bonds and trust with one another, which can help in employee retention.
Salary and compensation
Last but not least, the fourth hypothesis of the research is that “There is a significant positive association between salary and compensation and employee turnover and retention intentions.” The test revealed that the positive relationship between compensation and retention intentions was approved and statistically significant. Moreover, salary and compensation emerged as the most important factors for employee retention, which is also in line with other research.
In summary, the result of the research highlights the importance of talent management practices on talent retention. The talent retention process starts from recruitment, then the company’s performance management system and team support would provide a comfortable environment for employees to grow and progress their careers. Salary and other forms of compensation are important to attract and retain talent, as salary is one of the primary motives for employment.
These talent management practices each contribute in their own way, but when executed collectively, you may not need to find new talents as frequently as you usually do.
During the past few months, there have been rampant talks regarding the Great Resignation spree, especially in the US and many European countries. Several theories have been put forward on why this phenomenon is happening, such as people wanting their own way of thinking, having freedom from a salaried culture, searching avenues to serve the community based on one’s own value system, and enjoying life leisurely without being shackled. Initial reports in media viewed pay and compensation as an important issue for this turnover, however, it was analyzed later on that pay-related issues was not figuring even on the top ten important reasons for this movement.
Factors contributing employees to leave
If it is not the pay and compensation, then what exactly is driving this phenomenon? According to a study done by MIT, the top five reasons why people resign from their jobs are as follows:
Culture: Employees are more comfortable in organizations where diversity, equity, and inclusion are being promoted. Reversely, employees felt an aversion towards experiences of disrespect and unethical behavior within the company.
Perceived job threats: Due to the prolonged situation brought by the pandemic, the financial position of an organization may be in the red. As such, employees feel that they could get laid off from their job; as a precautionary measure, they start searching for new jobs.
Too much focus on the idea of “innovation”: Currently, there is a focus on innovation and digital acceleration such as Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. While employees in an organization talk positively about innovation, they also realize that it is hard to innovate which eventually causes burnout.
Performance recognition: During the pandemic, most employees started working from home. Under this environment, it is difficult to distinguish high-performing employees from the rest, ultimately leading to common minimum recognition and rewards instead of logically differentiated ones.
Response to COVID-19:The response and tackling of the COVID-19 situation by an organization is greatly linked to the confidence and loyalty of their employees.
What approaches can be adopted
Organizations, particularly Human Resources (HR), must take a data-driven approach to tackle this issue, first by determining not just the quantum of people quitting but by finding who exactly has more turnover risk to the company. Of course, approaches will vary from organization to organization, however, there are a few basic steps involved.
First, by quantifying the problem wherein the attrition rate is calculated, it should be analyzed at a granular level. This analysis should show information such as the category of people leaving in terms of function, age, gender, position, experience, or the number of years in the organization. One can use analysis to identify how much of turnover is coming from voluntary resignations and involuntary resignations.
As a next step, the impact of attrition on the key business matrix can be evaluated, including the cost of resignations. This analysis will help in identifying the root cause of the problem and segment of people to be focused on for retention strategy. There could be some obvious reasons such as compensation, promotions, pay increases, rewards, recognition, and training opportunities.
However, to identify softer issues such as trends and blind spots, it needs detailed employees’ feedback and one-to-one interaction. Here, a data-based HR approach is important since it can capture an employee’s mindset and convert it into meaningful analysis. After this step, companies can create highly customized programs for segments of people and identify specific factors to be corrected. The idea is to take care of factors that highly correlate to the attrition rate.
Data-driven strategy for addressing high retention rates is difficult and resource-consuming. On top of that, doing it right is a real challenge since poorly done analysis may lead to wrong corrective actions. Nevertheless, it is worth following a data-driven strategy, especially when you want to implement a targeted retention policy. As a result, organizations can attract talent, reduce talent acquisition costs, and can develop an engaged and motivated workforce contributing from the bottom to the top line.
Change is the only thing sure in the world, they say, and in the past two years, we are forced to adapt to change with an amazing speed.
Whether we discuss big organizations or few-people teams, resilience quickly becomes part of our vocabulary, and we have the same response: fight-or-flight-or-freeze. But how much adrenaline is too much, and how does this affect us as individuals and employees in our organizations? How do organizations manage and perceive the phenomenon called “The Great Resignation” or “The Great Attrition”?
More than 19 million US workers—and counting—have quit their jobs since April 2021, a record pace disrupting businesses everywhere. This has also affected countries in Europe or Australia and seems to be spreading around the world. Many companies struggle to understand and react, but the reaction is usually disproportionate and sometimes even inappropriate.
What Actually Happened?
If the past 24 months have taught us anything, it’s that employees crave compassion and making work more human. People are not robots with tasks or responsibilities, and more than ever, people need to be seen as imperfect and have the space to feel imperfect. Employees are tired, burnt out, and grieving. During the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone has suffered losses. For some, it’s the loss of loved ones; for others, the loss of familiarity — missed family gatherings or coffee with friends, canceled vacations and postponed events, or going to the office every day. The sources of loss, big and small, influence our work and personal lives.
Now, employees want companies to understand this loss and see a renewed and revised sense of purpose in their work. Employees want to feel a sense of shared identity, of community. Yes, they still want pay, benefits, and perks, but more than that, they want to feel valued by their organizations and managers. They want meaningful—though not necessarily in-person—interactions, not just transactions. Most employees have questioned everything during this period, including the meaning of life and work. What is the new meaning that your organization is willing to offer for work? What is the purpose that your company is offering to your employees? Is your company vision only related to profit, or do you have a higher purpose?
The pandemic brings new opportunities and urgency, and the idea of being agile and always ready to change is very good for business. However, people need time to adjust and make peace with this sense of loss. Indeed, the prolonged levels of uncertainty will only add to the grief and anxiety that employees experience. None of us knows exactly what will and won’t be coming back in a post-pandemic workplace. Therefore, we don’t know yet what is gone for now and what is gone forever. This influences performance or productivity.
What Can We Do?
If companies make a concerted effort to understand why employees are leaving and take meaningful action to gain them back, they can turn things into their favor. By seizing this unique moment of uncertainty and offering meaningful purpose and identity, your company could gain an edge in the race to attract, develop, and retain the talent you need to create a thriving post-pandemic organization.
If you’re a CEO or a member of a top team, your best move now is to hit pause and take the time to think through your next moves. But don’t think through your next moves in a vacuum; include your employees in the process. Start thinking about implementing a performance management system in your organization and do it with the help of your people. If you want to keep people by your side, include them in your plans, include them in setting the performance standards, and show them that their insight is valuable.
As you implement the performance management system at the employee level, ask the following questions:
Do we have a toxic organizational culture? It’s very important to understand if in your organizational culture, you may have missed some points with toxic leaders. This could put people down before even having the chance to perform.
Do we have the right people in the right places (especially managers)? Many employers face the problem of having the right people but not necessarily in the right places. When it comes to managers, this problem can be particularly damaging, especially in hybrid environments, where new leadership skills are required. Skills such as coaching and training capability are very important to develop for managers since in the new reality of work, people need coaching more than ever.
How was our organizational culture before the pandemic? If you think that going back to the office means returning to the same culture, you may expect your people to leave very quickly. You should remember that although the needs of your employees have changed, your culture may not have kept up, and any prior organizational weaknesses are now magnified. Employees will have little tolerance for a return to a status quo they didn’t like before.
Is our organizational culture based on the idea of transaction? If your only response to attrition is to raise compensation, you’re strongly telling your people that your relationship with them is transactional and that their only reason to stay with you is a paycheck. Your talent in the organization will always have a better cash offer somewhere else. Our suggestion is to solve the problems of the whole person (not just their bank accounts) and the whole organization.
Are our benefits aligned with employee priorities? If before the pandemic you offered free parking or Christmas parties as special benefits, you might want to consider adapting and changing these benefits also. In a recent survey among people who left their jobs, 45 percent cited the need to take care of the family as influential in their decision. A similar proportion of people who are thinking of quitting cited the demands of family care. Expanding childcare, nursing services, or other home- and family-focused benefits could help keep such employees from leaving and show that you value them.
Employees want career paths and development opportunities. Can you provide it? Employees are looking for jobs with better, stronger career trajectories. They desire both recognition and development. Smart companies find ways to reward people by promoting them into new roles and into additional levels within their existing ones. This is one way companies can quickly reward and recognize people for good work.
How are we building a sense of community? Remote work is no panacea, but neither is a full on-site return. In-person connectivity continues to have massive benefits for your organization. But it will require considerable management attention to be right as health and safety concerns continue to evolve, particularly because employees’ needs and expectations have changed. For example, employees with unvaccinated young children may feel unsafe in large in-person gatherings.
One organization took an inclusive approach by sending out themed staycation packages: a movie night with popcorn and a gift card; a game night with family-oriented games, chips, and salsa; and a virtual spa day complete with face masks, tea, and chocolate. The company created a Slack channel for posting photos and stories, encouraging employees to share these experiences. Another organization encouraged connectivity among employees by offering coffee gift cards to those who signed up to participate in one-on-one coffee chats with employees they didn’t know—a perk that improved connectivity and helped people expand their networks.
Employee engagement should focus now more than ever on employee experience. If you want to learn more about employee engagement, employee experience, how to implement a performance management system at the employee level, and how to align the company’s values, strategy, and objectives with employees behaviors, follow our Certified Employee Performance Management System Professional course.