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For a long time, labor has not been given its rightful position in many organizations. Many of the managements have not thought of viewing their employees as very important asserts. However, the happenings of the recent past have proven that labor force is one of the most important asserts to any given organization.
When the management lays down objectives to be achieved, it is always the employees who are expected to implement the policies that would bring the desired results. It is this work force that would be expected to turn the policies from paper to reality. Therefore, retention of employees is very important. Employees should be retained within the organization to ensure that the firm’s operations are consistent. High turnover rate of employees is not healthy for the firm’s prosperity.
This is because it does not only affect the smooth implementation of policies within the firm, but also leads to increased cost of training new employees. It is even worse that the employees would go away having learnt the strategies of the firm, making the firm vulnerable to its competitors. The management should therefore device methods of hiring qualified employees and retaining them within the firm. One of the best ways to achieve this is through motivation.
In a normal business set up, there are always four factor of production, which includes land, labor, capital and entrepreneur. All these factors are very important and they are interdependent of each other. They cannot operate in isolation. However, it is very unfortunate that labor has not been given importance with which it deserves. People have not considered labor as one of the most important aspects of any given organization.
According to Chopra (2002), for a long time, people have not viewed employees as being very important to the organization. The management have treated their employees very poorly, a fact that has seen majority of the employees move from one job to another. They feel uncared for and unwanted. Human being would want to be appreciated. Under a normal circumstance, human being is very sensitive to the way he or she is treated within the society.
When given proper care and made to feel that their contribution is worthy in the organization, and that they are considered as part and parcel of the organization, they would tend to work very hard. They will double their effort and ensure that they go beyond the previous achievements just to earn the appreciation once more. The firm would thus be in a position to not only retain such an employee, but also make him or her more motivated.
It is very important to retain employees to the organization. Anderson (2004) notes that employees are the driving force of any given organization. They help define the future of the organization. When the management develops specific objectives and goals to be achieved by the firm, the policies that would lead to the set benefits are always implemented by the employees.
The management must explain to the employees the policies and the goals that are intended to be achieved. It is the employees who will carry out the actual task. When the implementation is done appropriately, the credit would not only be given to the management, but also to the employees who made this process possible.
One factor about employees that is always important is experience. One may have the academic qualifications in a given field. However, the most important factor to consider is the level of experience. Experience in a particular job makes an individual very efficient in his or her duties. It takes years for an individual to gain experience. When a company employs a new person as their employee, it would always be prudent to take such an employee through an induction process.
Such employees would have to be trained at work in order to understand how to handle specific tasks within the firm. This process of making the employee gain experience while at work is not only an expensive venture, but also time consuming. Training a single employee would cost the firm dearly in terms of time and finance. Such an employee would therefore be a valuable assert that should be highly treasured and carefully taken care of by the management.
It should not be lost because in so doing, the firm would not only be forced to spend another time and finances to train another new employee, but it would also lose the skills and techniques to the opponents. When an employee is lost to a competing firm, such an employee would carry away the techniques of that firm to his or her new employer. For this reason therefore, there are all the reasons to ensure that employees are retained within the firm for as long a duration as would be possible.
Relationship between Employee Retention and Success of a Firm
Armstrong (2002) says that employees are the implementing arm of the organization. While the top executives formulate the policies to be implemented by the organization, most of their tasks always end in the paper. It is upon the employees to make these blueprints a reality. In his words, employees are the engine of the organization.
When well taken care of and put in a proper condition, they would always give the best of the results to the organization. However, when they are neglected and left to ‘rust’ they will always give leap service and the output will be very disappointing. Retaining employees within the organization is very important.
There is a direct link between employee retention and success of a firm. It is very important that a firm reduces the rate of employee turnover because of a number of reasons. In most of the occasions, policies are always developed to last for one whole year. However, these policies are always units in the larger vision of the firm.
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A vision may be developed to be achieved in a time span of say thirty year or so. This duration is long and the firm may not take a direct approach towards achieving this vision. It therefore has to split this vision into yearly strategic objectives. When the year begins, the firm would plan with its current work force. When some of the employees leave along the year, it would be a blow to the success of that year’s strategic objectives.
The firm would be forced to look for a replacement and train them and make them understand the objectives to be achieved. This is time consuming and costly venture that would reduce the success of the organization. Changing the employees on a yearly basis is not good either.
This is because in so doing, the vision of the firm will be lost. It will not be possible to realize the vision because every year, the firm would be forced to start with new employees who may not understand the vision, and how it was developed in the first place. This minimizes chances of achieving expected goals within the organization.
Retaining employees is another way of cutting cost. It is always necessary to train new employees to the firm on how to manage various forces that affect the organization. It would cost the management time and money to ensure that new recruits understand the working environment and are able to perform what is expected of them.
Retaining employees would eliminate this cost. It is also easier to form a community that understands itself with a workforce that last for over five years within the firm. Everyone would know exactly what is expected of him or her, and therefore the task of directing them would be much easier.
Strategies of Employee Retention
To attract and retain the right workforce, it would require the management to employ the right strategies that would ensure that it succeeds in this. It may appear as a simple task of making employees happy. However, it goes beyond this. To retain the right employees within the firm, there are a series of strategies that a firm should employ in order to ensure that employees are constantly satisfied.
The secret behind this retention lies in ensuring that the employee is satisfied and feels challenged with the present task. This will cause the drive in him to want to come tomorrow and beat the challenge. The recommendations below gives a detailed strategy of how to employ the right individuals to the firm, and how such individuals should be retained, once employed.
The core of this research is to determine how best a firm can retain its employees. Having categorically looked at the importance of retaining the employees, it is prudent to determine ways through which a given firm can ensure that its grip on its employees is not shaken.
However, there are some factors that must be considered before determining how best a firm can retain its employees. It is an acceptable fact that for a firm to retain employees, it must start by employing some of the best talents that would help it achieve its goals. As such, it is important to understand how best a firm can recruit new employees.
After recruiting the best of the employees, as per the measures that have been put in place, it is also important to appreciate that not all of them would leave up to the expectations. As such, it would again be appropriate to determine who to retain because a firm can only retain the best of the workforce in order to be in a position to achieve the maximum. It is upon the determination of the best workforce to retain that a firm can now develop the best ways to retain such employees.
How to Recruit New Employees
It is true that there are some instances when an organization cannot avoid to lay off some of its workers. When the modern tools and machines were invented, many firms found out that it was better to reduce the capacity of their workforce, and in its place, have the machines perform their functions.
According to Barrows and Powers (2008), the invention of computers was a turn-around to many firms and organizations around the world. It was realized that the computers could be coded in a way that would make it possible to run various duties without the need to have human presence. Many had thought that with such developments, human labor would not be required. As such, many organizations had developed plans on how to lay off its workers.
This was to take place in various faces, as Chopra (2002) reports. This scholar notes that many of the American large firms had laid down structures of how they would replace human labor with the computerized machine. However, as time went by, they came to realize that labor can never be replaced.
The more the inventions were made and the more sophisticated the machines became, the more the need for skilled labor increased. As at current, there are countries that are running short of labor. A firm should consider observing the following recommendations when recruiting employees.
- Recruit employees who have experience in a particular area where their services are needed. The experience should be reasonable enough to be met by reasonable number of prospective employees. It is true that experience alone is not the determining factor when assessing the effectiveness of an employee. However, having experienced employee makes the work of the organization much easier, especially when it comes to training.
- The Human Resource Management should keenly check the mobility of the prospective employee. In the resume of the employee, it would be clear how often such an employee has been moving from one employer to another. An employee who has been very mobile in the past- switching jobs annually or so- is not the right candidate. If he or she has been switching jobs from one firm to another with high frequency, chances are high that even at this firm, he or she will not stay for long. The management will therefore incur the cost of training such an employee, only to lose him or her after a short while when he or she has become efficient enough to serve the firm.
- Innovative and technology oriented individuals would make good employees. The firm is interested in finding the best of the workforce that it would be able to retain for long. The firm should therefore employ the best. The world is getting transformed by the emerging technologies. The emerging technologies have seen completely new trends in the world of business. For a firm to be in a position to keep pace, it should be in a position to understand these emerging trends and respond to them as would be appropriate. It is the workforce that understands this technology that can help the firm. This way, the firm would find it easy to retain this workforce.
- One other factor that should be taken into consideration when hiring new employees is their health. The aim of the Human Resource Management is to retain employees for maximum period of time. One may consider this as a discriminatory requirement. However, it has been noted that there are some health complications that may not allow an individual to work within a specific section of the firm. In various occasions, employees have to be released from the hospital to seek medical attention because of the exposure to some conditions that their healths do not permit. In some many occasions, employers are held liable for such complications and therefore obliged to pay for the medication. In this case, it is not just the resources put on the employee to train him or her that will be lost. The company would have to incur other financial costs, and a possible loss of image within the corporate society.
Employees to Retain
As stated above, the need to retain employees within the firm is very necessary. However, a firm may have to determine which employees have to be retained in their current assignments, which to transfer into new assignments and which group to lay off.
Chuang and Liao (2010) say that although many people view the process of laying off employees as a discriminatory act, it is one of the best strategies a firm can use to sieve employees and retain just the best that would be in a position to provide the firm with the best of the service. When considering how to rearrange the employees in a new set-up, the following recommendations should be put under consideration.
- Ensure that each employee is retained in his position unless there is a clear indication that he or she cannot perform as expected within that department. To achieve this, the firm can set manageable targets to be achieved by the employee within a specified period. If after a given period an employee shows, through his performance, the he or she is way below the expected limits, then the firm should consider moving such an employee to a different unit where he can perform better.
- When making a decision on moving an employee from one unit of the firm to the other, the employee should be involved as much as possible. This is especially important when the decision to move him or her to new position is not because of underperformance in the previous department, but the feeling that his skills and expertise is needed more in a different department. This way, they would feel appreciated and would work even with more determination than before.
- The decision to lay off any member of the staff should be done in a very systematic manner. Employees should be informed immediately they are hired that there is a given limit that is expected of their performance. They should then be informed of the minimum allowable output that would be expected of them. Upon failure to meet this target, the management should let the employee appreciate that he or she was given the opportunity by the firm, but failed to meet the expectations. It leaves such an employee with hope that next time when he become competent enough, he may be considered by the firm for employment. This is very important because it is not only an assurance to the competent employees that they have job security as long as they remained competent, but also an encouragement to all those that are remaining within the firm that their effort is appreciated and the firm looks forward to having better performance from them. The public image would also be retained for the firm would not be accused of indiscriminate firing of employee. This way, the firm would be in a position to sieve the employees and retain some of the best within the firm.
How to Retain Employees
This has been the core of this research. The researcher was interested in determining how best to retain employees within a given firm. According to Griffin and Moorhead (2009), the secret behind the retention of employees within a firm is through motivation. Human being by nature wants to be appreciated. This way, they feel that their effort is recognized. They feel motivated, and this way, they are in a position to perform better within the firm. Motivation comes in various forms.
- Promotion in the place of work. People always feel so much appreciated if they are made to raise a step or two in their workplace. However minimal this rise may be, it would be appreciated by the employees and this would make them work harder in order to be given even higher ranks the firm. They would remain in the firm with the hope that one day they would rise to the highest position in the firm
- Giving employees financial incentives. Although there are many factors that would encourage an individual to get employment, the ultimate goal is to earn good salaries that would enable him or her be in a position to take good care of the family. Financial incentives are some of the best ways through which a firm can ensure that they make employees feel that their efforts are appreciated. It would motivate them to work harder and will not make them think of leaving the firm.
- Personal appreciation from the management team would be a high motivation to the employee. It would go a long way in ensuring that the employee is retained within the firm.
- Public praises. It is important that when an employee performs exceptionally well, the management should praise such employees publicly. Such public praises will make the employees attached to the firm
- High involvement and clear communication. The management should always ensure that employees are involved. They should be made to feel that they are responsible for every task they have to undertake. This way, they would always want to see their departments excel, a fact that may make them stay longer within the organization.
- Team building seminars. One of the best way of motivating employees and ensuring that they work as a team is by organizing team building seminars. Though such seminars, employees would form very strong bonds amongst themselves and with the firm. As such, they would not think of leaving the firm for another because the bond would always keep them together.
- The management should also foster trust. The employees should have trust in employees. They should be made to feel that the management is caring. The management should always ensure that they keep trust by always honoring their promises.
- Challenging experience. Human being, under a normal circumstance, work best when provided with challenging tasks. They feel that they have something to accomplish tomorrow, because they feel that today’s work is not satisfactory. Such an employee would always be thinking of ways to beat the deadlines other than looking for alternative source of employment.
Anderson, T. (2004). Research Methods in Human Resource Management. London: Chattered institute of Personell Management Publishing.
Armstrong, M. (2002). Employee Rewards. Trowbridge: CIPD Publishing.
Barrows, C., & Powers, T. (2008). Introduction to Management in the Hospitality Industry. Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons.
Chopra, S. (2002). Motivation in Management. New Delhi, India: Sarup & Sons.
Chuang, C., & Liao, H. (2010). Strategic Human Resource in Service Context: Taking Care of Business by Taking Care of Employees and Customers. Personell psychology , I 63(1), 153-196.
Griffin, R., & Moorhead, G. (2009). Organizational Behavior: Managing People and Organizations. Mason: Cengage learning.