The latest research from Insync Surveys, Why people stay: how to keep your best employees,
suggests it comes down to implementing five key themes. Nicholas Barnett, CEO of Insync Surveys explained that these are “fulfilling jobs, inspiring leadership, a performance focus, values driven culture, and to feel proud”.
1. Job fulfillment and growth
Employers seeking to improve retention must offer meaningful work via mechanisms such as job fit, mission alignment, role clarity, job enrichment, personal development and career progression.
“Employees are more likely to stay when they enjoy their work, are satisfied with their jobs, are able to fully use their skills and talents and perceive that their organization has effective plans for developing and retaining its people,” Barnett said.
2. Inspiring leadership
Barnett said the findings of the research showed that while an employee’s immediate line manager plays an important role in staff retention, long term retention is impacted much more by senior leadership.
The research shows employees are more likely stay when the senior leadership team has an inspiring vision, encourage innovation, are good role models, act with integrity, and get the maximum from people’s individual talents and knowledge. Senior leaders set the tone for the whole organization, and employees form a view about whether the organization is right for them in the long term from what they see from the senior leadership team.
3. Performance focus
Employees are more likely to stay when they consider their organization to be high performing and well run, according to the research. Items highly related to retention include the perception that their organization is committed to best practice; being able to link everyday actions and performance to the organization’s goals; and the belief that the organization is committed to high standards of performance.
4. Values driven
Organizations which have clear values which are demonstrated in practice are more likely to retain their staff the research revealed. Items highly correlated with retention include equity in resource allocation, being advised about organizational changes that will impact the employee, belief that the organization cares about and is committed to the employee, and seeing the organization’s values and behaviors being demonstrated every day in the employee’s work group.
5. Pride and advocacy
Employees who can envisage a future for themselves in the organization have a strong sense of connection with, and pride in, their organization according to the survey. Items highly correlated with retention include being willing to recommend the organization as a workplace to others, being proud of working for the organization, and having a strong sense of belonging. These items emphasize the reciprocity inherent in the employer-employee relationship.
“When the employer provides the employee with a fulfilling job within a positive organizational context, the employee typically reciprocates by performing to the best of their ability and being an advocate for the organization to others,” Barnett explained.
The issue of staff retention is as old as the practice of HR itself: what can HR do to retain the people who are most critical to an organization?