Employee retention is one of the largest problems facing companies today. Every organization has its way of handling the issue, from competitive compensation packages and flexible schedules to internal promotions and regular evaluations. Goals like improved retention, however, are always easiest to meet once they are clearly stated. What does “improved” employee retention look like for your organization, and how will you know once you’ve hit your mark?
Clearly stated goals based on and regularly measured against firm data are your best bet for actual progress. If your company’s overall goal is to improve employee retention by 75% within three years, then leadership should be made explicitly aware of this goal. Managers and executives can then gather the data on employee turnover on a regular basis and analyze it against that goal and timeframe.
An integrated competency framework will go a long way toward gathering this data, because it offers upper-level managers the opportunity to view the company as a whole, which means overall trends in retention and turnover are quickly spotted. Competency data also makes it easier to determine in which areas an employee or team may need additional training, which means employees get the mentoring and skills training they need to improve continually. This keeps motivation high and decreases any frustration stemming from poor performance. It also enables managers to make quick decisions about where to allocate learning resources, which leads to reduced training costs and increased profitability.
Even better, such a framework also has been shown to improve employee satisfaction – a key factor for retention – because employees are made aware from the very beginning which behaviors and skills are needed to excel in a particular position. By identifying individual and group strengths and weaknesses quickly, we can recognize and reward high talent and excellent performance on a continual basis – not just annually. Such regular recognition keeps motivation levels high, which also improves retention.
In short, if your organization is going to get serious about keeping its employees motivated and within your company’s ranks, you’ll need to set data-based goals with clearly defined outcomes. An integrated competency framework is your best shot.