The successful design, development and implementation of management decisions that are directly linked to employee recruitment, selection and retention are very complex and at times daunting tasks for many Human Resource managers. Usually, these managers will be faced with daily problems that require the application of tools that will ensure for the successful operations irrespective of the strategies that they employ such as the identification of the objectives of the organization, alternative means of achieving the stated objectives and the selection of the means that accomplish the objectives in the most efficient manner. While there is a general abidance in the fact that there are a number of various effective employee retention strategies, available research work and articles demonstrate that their effectiveness depends largely on the culture of an organization.
As a Human Resource Manager in a private sector business, my consideration of the best employee retention strategies would include the provision of family friendly services, brand creation and leverage and establish formal recognition programs. In addition to the above, I would partner with training or teaching organizations, establish formal employee recognition programs and conduct exit interviews. This is because employees consider their families as their greatest asset and family friendly benefits directly translate to a better committed and more loyal work force. This fact is buttressed by Abrams (2004) in stating that “the degree to which organizational policies and practices support employee’ family can greatly influence their decisions to join a company or stay on board after they have been hired.” Furthermore, the support in the management of logistics services such as worksite wellness programs and child care support have the ability to reduce the levels of employee stress.
The family friendly services reduce the role overload which occurs when the demands that arise from work overweigh those of family obligations. A good example includes instances of extremely long hours at work place that denies the family opportunities of having a holiday together. The case of vice- versa can also take place whereby a spouse’s ill health can deny one from attending to work demands. Furthermore, conflicts at home or family denies one the opportunity to give into their best performance. Job demands in many instances are stressful and may not give one extra time to spend with the family. Very serious cases involve working in organizations that strictly adhere to beating strict deadlines, considering beating these deadlines as the most important factor in maintaining your position within the organization. Work and life can never be separated as the physical and mental health of employees will eventually determine the level of organization’s performance.
Secondly, brand creation and leverage has been recognized as a powerful retention strategy by a number of organizations. This is because employees feel loyal and proud to work in organizations whose brands are respected by a wider population. According to Abrams (2004), “the creation and promotion of brands enables an organization to retain the employees it needs for future growth”. “The brand has thus become the magnet that pulls in the best employee and this strategy only works when a company has defined its culture and created a clear value proposition” (Abrams, 2004).
Third, the establishment of formal recognition and reward programs translate to employee satisfaction and have the capacity to enable an organization retain and attract the best employees. Employee reward and recognition policies within organizations aim at achieving higher employee motivation, commitment and the eventual retention. Rewards and recognitions in most organizations come in the form of cash incentives and promotions.
Fourth, as a human resource manager, I must partner with training or teaching organizations. This is because, in the realization that people form the most prized asset of any organizations, there is need to attach the greatest value to their well being in relation to their skills and knowledge and the continuous improvement of the same. This is because the training process is “a process where employees learn about and adapt to new jobs, roles and the culture of the workplace” (Rain, Lane & Steiner, 1991). In addition to the above, the impact of employee training on job satisfaction cannot be undermined because the level and quality of employee skills and knowledge is directly correlated to the levels of job satisfaction because of their ability to deliver. Abrams (2004) summarizes the role of partnering with teaching and training institutions in achieving employee retention by stating that “Ideally, organizations making new hires would choose from a never-ending pool of qualified workers who are familiar with the organizations and its goals”
Lastly, exit interviews are critical in having answers behind questions that may surround the exit of an employee. The main reason behind exit interviews must be to retrieve as much accurate information as possible because most employees will remain reluctant to reveal the true reasons behind their departure. This is more so when the reasons touch on sensitive managerial issues within an organization. According to Abrams (2004), “the patterns that emerge from these interviews serve as a starting point for understanding problems in the workplace and designing solutions to improve the work experience of current and future employees”. They therefore form the basis on which management decisions and adjustments in regard to employee retention can be made.
Money has been known as the best incentive to employee attraction, recruitment and retention. While thus fact has been considered true for centuries, management experts abide in one fact that hefty pay increases and bonuses fail to achieve their purpose especially is that purpose is long term employee retention. Abrams (2004) echoes this point by succinctly stating that “money can work well as a short-term fix, in the long run it can cause iniquities and, once started, may be a hard strategy to stop”. In summary, money can only be an effective employee retention tool if appropriately used together with other strategies.
Abrams has gone a great length in defining employee retention strategies. However, he has failed to include the role of statistics analysis in understanding the level of an organization’s state in relation to employee retention. In addition to the above, continuous training when an employee has joined an organization is not properly highlighted.
Work has for centuries remained one of the most fundamentals tasks in life of a human being. Research focusing on the biopsychosocial impacts of work satisfaction and dissatisfaction on the modern worker suggests that “one’s level of satisfaction with one’s work impacts upon one’s mental and physical health and overall satisfaction with life” (Jex, 2008). The philosophy is that in exchange for offering their services, employees are entitled to more than their pay, benefits and healthy and safe systems of work. Employees should also be entitled to consideration as human beings, especially when one considers that majority of their problems arise in the context of the work and are hence best dealt with there to achieve job high job satisfaction levels and high retention rates.
Abrams, M. N. (2004). Employee retention strategies: Lessons from the best. Healthcare Executive, 19(4), 18-22. Web.
Jex, S. M. (2008). Organizational psychology: A scientist- practitioner approach. New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons
Rain, J.S., Lane, I.M. & Steiner, D.D. (1991). A current look at the job satisfaction/life satisfaction relationship: Review and future considerations. Human Relations, 44, 287–307.