Are you able to retain your talent? Do you generate commitment to your employees? Today there is growing tendency among companies around the world to dismiss employees due to the tough economic situation and the consequent need for cost savings. However, there is a group of key employees in every organization. They are the ones that really matter because they provide great value to your company. If one of them left, can you imagine the catastrophe? How can one deal with knowledge that is lost? They key lies in talent retention and management. Here are a few critical points to consider in this regard.
Although each position in a company is important and everyone can bring value from their own scope, it is true that certain functions can be considered key. They are strategic positions, where the person who occupies one such position is really involved in company affairs and uses their knowledge for the benefit of the company and their own self.
Thus, the value comes more from the person occupying such positions. However, in many cases an employee is not considered key because they rely more on their commitment to their function within the organization than business knowledge. These are generally people who do the minimum to keep their jobs and do not strive to improve because they are not very involved in the company’s affairs. How should an employer deal with such attitude towards the job? How will the company commit to this employee?
In this context, an employee who is not committed is more easily replaceable than the one who is and the impact that occurs when they decide to leave is very small. But getting rid of an employee who is committed, despite their not so critical position in the day-to-day function, is counter-intuitive. Someone who really believes in the company and provides all their energy, knowledge and experience to make it grow is a key asset in their own right. Such employees may not be employed at critical positions but they add value to the company because they really understand why you are in business and what your purpose is and how they can contribute towards achieving it.
Employee commitment, a matter of feelings
To turn your employees into key assets, it is therefore very important to get their commitment to the business, especially those who occupy critical positions in the company hierarchy. Experts in the field, such as Daniel Pink, assert that the fundamental reason that an employee remains in the company is not your salary, but their level of commitment. If the market wage is set and is not a concern, a higher salary does not necessarily mean a greater commitment.
This happens because the commitment is based on three pillars that have much to do with the essentials driver among people, their feelings. Here they are:
- Autonomy: get the flexibility to feel that we are in control of our lives, our decisions and our work stem from our own desires.
- Master: to be able to achieve mastery in the work we do.
- Purpose: To understand that our role is part of a plan and that we are an integral cog of it. This helps us in understanding the meaning of why we do what we do.
These pillars, together, make the concept of emotional salary – something that is not monetary but does the same work as financial rewards in getting your employee’s commitment.
Working on plans for retaining talent
Ideally, firms should have recurrent programs to ensure compliance with these three pillars. It is essential for the company to work continuously on the emotional salary of all employees, not just in order to retain talent, but because it affects productivity and customer satisfaction, which directly impacts the company accounts.
However, when the reality is imposed and the workload is so great that sometimes the big plans are a barrier to real action in talent retention. However, you don’t necessarily have to set aside special time for dealing with the three pillars. For instance, take a look at Kungsleden, a Swedish company with serious problems of staff motivation that decided to start making very specific actions intuitively. For example, they organized a roulette lunch, where employees voluntarily aimed for lunch with a partner chosen randomly. This action caused a tremendous impact on employee partnership, one of the important pillars of the company.
Further such initiatives ensued and now 91% of the company’s employees recommend their workplace to friends and family year after year, making Kungsleden Sweden’s first "Great place to work". Therefore, employee motivation not only helps in talent retention but also in the procurement of new talent due to the reputation you build as an employee-friendly company in the market.
The brain drain costs money
You know that you should begin early with these small actions to retain all employees, even those who you do not consider as key for your organization. Studies say it is ten times more expensive to hire and train a new employee than to retain the ones you already have. In addition, the percentage of absenteeism in companies with low engagement is significantly higher as employee’s get embroiled in the boredom trap.
Moreover, beyond the product and other considerations, employees are what that make the difference in customer satisfaction. According to statistics, between 40% and 80% satisfaction comes from the employee's attitude. Engaged employees are more concerned with meeting the needs of customers, as they are more empathetic and strive to make the customer feel special. So you can increase your customer satisfaction through the implementation of measures to increase the commitment of your employees.
Today, successful companies that survive are those that feel that all of their employees are important. In the knowledge society, your employees are the intangible that makes make you stand out from your competitors. Therefore it is very viable that you invest a little of the company’s focus in this matter.