What do you think of when someone talks about employee turnover and retention? Does the employee come to mind, or do you think of the challenges that the Human Resources (HR) department faces? This week, a business partner and I have been exploring the latter to better understand the struggles HR faces trying to attract, hire, engage and retain folks in a tight labor market.

Turnover Struggle Bus

Ok, so I know this HR professional persona totally sounds like a whiner riding the turnover struggle bus, which wasn’t my intention when I wrote this. I honestly wanted to see if this is the problem that HR people face:

As an HR professional, I’m tired of jumping through hoops to get the staff we need based on the workload. Young professionals aren’t sticking around and I don’t have the time to figure out how to keep them. There is pressure from the top to stem the tide on turnover costs, but I can’t seem to do that fast enough. It would be great to hire the people that will stick around so that I can get some breathing room. The revolving door is ruining my quality of life!

HR Thoughts

The results are trickling in (thanks to a partner’s help) and here are a few of the themes we’re seeing:

  • Recruitment and retention are constant struggles.
  • HR professionals have minimal influence with retention once the front-line managers take the reigns to manage the new resources.
  • Some organizations are using the ‘buddy’ system to create engagement and mentorship for employees.
  • HR needs to focus on retention and turnover since many times employees leave to make more money.
  • For young professionals, they seem to be job hopping to advance and move up if an organization doesn’t provide a solid career path.

Retention Strategies

So, what are the strategies that address this? A perfect mix would look like this:

  1. Employee training development
  2. Incentives
  3. Compensation
  4. Work / Life balance
  5. Review success of retention strategies

I’m still digging into this topic and I’d love to hear your thoughts regarding the mix of strategies your organization uses. Does your organization use some or all five of these and do you think they do a good job with them? Why or why not?

Send me an email at michelle@bossibly.com and let me know!

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