Recruitment and retention are still a key challenge for HR professionals. Recruiting new employees is both expensive and time-consuming, which is why organisations and HR professionals need to work hard to recruit and retain good employees.
Just look at these recruitment statistics from Glassdoor…
- It takes an average of 52 days to fill an open position, up from 48 days in 2011. (Talent Acquisition Factbook 2015, Bersin by Deloitte, April 2015)
- 51% of employees are considering a new job. (Workforce Panel, Gallup, November 2015)
- One in three employers is concerned voluntary exits will increase. (Harris Poll for Glassdoor, February 2015)
- The top two obstacles to increasing headcount are a shortage of candidates (31%) and lengthy hiring practices (27%). (Recruiter Sentiment Study 2015 2nd Half, MRI Network, 2015)
In addition, job hopping is on the rise; in fact, people who are currently under the age of 35 are likely to hold between 15 to 20 jobs during their working life. HR professionals know this, and they expect their employees to leave – it’s often a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’.
So while you can’t eliminate employee turnover, you can reduce it by focusing on employee engagement.
The importance of holding on to good employees
When you find a good employee it’s important to try and retain them, here’s why:
- Hiring and training employees is expensive
- People are the driving force of your business
- If managed correctly people will add value to your business
- Loss of organisational knowledge or Intellectual Property when an employee leaves
- Damage to supplier or customer relationships when an employee leaves
Creating the right working environment
Employee engagement is not a tick box exercise. It demands a holistic approach to creating the conditions that foster engagement. In some cases, that may mean driving a sea change in corporate culture that leads to happy and motivated employees.
The most effective way to create employee engagement is to have an organisational purpose and values, and then make sure that the people who you recruit understand your organisation’s sense of purpose and that their values are aligned with your company values.
Having a strong leadership team who can give employees a sense of purpose and inspire them, along with managers who motivate, support and empower their employees are also essential.
Communication is also crucial to employee engagement. As well as communicating to employees it is important that employees have a voice and that the organisation listens to, and acts upon, their feedback.
Organisations should also look to create employee benefits and recognition and reward programmes that help employees balance the working and personal lives, achieve their career and personal goals and feel appreciated.
Even small investments in your employees can have a massive impact on your retention rates. And never underestimate the power and value of your employee benefits, reward and recognition programmes.
Five top tips for creating employee engagement in your work environment
- Include engagement behaviours in the corporate competency framework
- Take a top-down approach and get high-level buy into the goal of creating an engaged workforce
- Develop profiles describing what attributes engaged employees will display in your organisation so that everyone knows what engagement looks like
- Incorporate attributes predicting employee engagement into person specifications used for recruitment
- Make time for performance management supported by reward and recognition to achieve and maintain engagement
Employee engagement requires the co-operation of all areas of the organisation: HR professionals can put the programmes in place, but they need the leadership team and managers to walk the walk if the programmes are to be successful.