All companies have a need for a high level of employee retention, especially
where a lot of time and money has been spent on training of employees and they
hold critical positions within the company.
Examples of critical positions are engineers, chemists and sales personnel,
each of which are essential to manufacturing industry, but are also in a
position to leave a company with which they are unhappy. In order to retain key
personnel they must be given an incentive to remain with the company and
motivation in the job they are doing. Unfortunately, many companies fail to
provide either and have no idea why they are failing.
It need not be only key personnel, though the loss of easily replaced
personnel is not so damaging. However, salespersons who converse frequently
with their customers are in a position to take their customers with them if
they move to a competitor in the same business. This is not uncommon, and can
seriously damage a company.
Not only is a high turnover of staff inconvenient due to the need for
retraining, but it can also lead to a loss of business to your competition.
That fact that your employees believe that your competitor is a better employer
to work for that you indicates a serious lack of something within your own
company! You need to take a close look at the way the personnel aspects of your
business are run, the way they are managed and the lack of motivation provided
to your employees.
Have you ever considered that if employees leave your company for another
that they will likely provide that other company with all the knowledge that
they have? That includes the knowledge they have of your company, including
details of your customers, prices and products. This happens all the time. Even
severance contracts, where an employee contracts not to provide their new
employer with the secrets and knowledge that they have, are generally
immediately broken. It is virtually impossible to enforce in such a way that
your secrets are secure.
The only way to avoid all of this is to ensure that your employees are happy
where they are. To do that you also have to understand the reasons why people
might want to leave one company for another. Do you have an exit interview with
employees prior to them being offered a severance deal? If not, why not? It is
the only way you will be able to find out what you are doing wrong. People tend
to tell the truth during these interviews since it is probably the only the
time that an employee has been able to make a complaint about their job and be
listened to! That in itself should tell you something.
People do not leave their employment on a whim. It is generally a
culmination of incidents that leads to the decision. So what are these
incidents and why do people decide to move from one company to another. Is
there anything a business can do to prevent this and provide their employees
with sufficient incentive to stay where they are, rather than looking for
Motivation is essential. Probably the one biggest reason for people to leave
their current employer is a lack of motivation and reward for doing well. If
somebody has no targets or goals, what motivation can they have? If there is no
reward for doing well, why should they do well? That leads to a lack of
motivation which in turns leads to dissatisfaction with the job. After that
there is only one outcome.
Employers must provide employees with goals and regular job reviews so that
employers can inform employees where improvement is required, and the employees
can ask questions and put their own points across. Without job reviews people
are unsure how they are doing and might get the perception that they are not
valued in the company; a perception that is frequently wrong, but leads to the
employee becoming dissatisfied.
Individuals must feel needed, and must believe that their contribution to
the company is valued. A lot of this lack of motivation is due to the lack of
experienced or qualified management. Many supervisors and managers have
attained their position, not through their managerial expertise, but through a
policy of promoting those who performed well in a lower position to a higher
one, but failing to provide the management training required to make them as
good managers as they performed in their previous non-managerial positions.
They are therefore unable to motivate personnel in the same way that fully
trained professional managers could.
The problem of how to retain employees is not rocket science, and it should
be obvious to any professional manager that employees will stay with their
company if their remuneration is fair, they are provided with goals and a
proper degree of motivation and feel that their voices are heard. Add to that
the possibility of advancement for meeting their goals and employee retention
should not be a problem.
Most employee losses are due to a lack of imaginative personnel management
and a failure to appreciate what people are looking for in their