Confusion in the Ranks

Richard J. Hohnmann Jr.
January 16, 2009 — 906 views  

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I have read article after article regarding the importance of employee retention. I have also read in a recent survey the American Society of Training and Development that the following are ranked according to how the best companies measure performance; 1) Productivity Improvement, 2) Ability to Retain Essential Employees, 3) Quality of Products and Services, 4) Customer Satisfaction, 5) Employee Satisfaction, 6) Sales and Revenues, 7) Overall Profitability, 8) Cycle Time Reduction or Improvement and 9) other.

In another article, "The Hidden Talent Retention Strategy" by Michael Laft, which appeared in Training and Development (December 2007 Issue) stated that 75% of managers are unaware of a retention strategy in their office. Appearing in the December 2007 issue of Training and Development, it has been shown that even when companies are making an effort to engage workers or make them happy, the managers are not aware of the company's actions and this is not being communicated downward to them.

The number one non-financial reason why workers leave their jobs is an opportunity for advancement, followed closely by work-life balance and more interesting work. This was noted in a survey conducted by the International Association of Business Communicators.

Even though most articles written for the HR are saying to align your people with your business strategy, they are not telling the management team of the company to do the same. Almost every article on employment is demonstrating that there will be an imminent shortage of executives and that most companies expect competition for talent to intensify. Senior executives have frequently acknowledged their failure to pay attention to these issues and now seem to understand that their retention strategies cannot focus solely on the top performers but all employees. We need to engage workers of all ages, nationalities and genders who want to work for your company and remain there for as long as they can.

The problem is that managers treat talent in a most reactive manner. Managers and companies alike must think of the workforce as a collection of segments that actively create or apply knowledge. Companies need to make sure that performance reflects the workplace expectations of both the worker and the company. Companies need to instill a deep commitment to its employees. A commitment must start at the top and should cascade downward through the ranks. Managers must try to integrate a hiring and retention program with their strategic business plan and communicate this integration to all employees on a daily basis. These employee retention strategies must be incorporated into the culture of the company and be expected in terms of core value or competency.

When we find that talent is being nurtured at all levels of the organization or company, we can be reassured that we have been successful in creating a real retention plan that exhibits the real values of company and its commitment to its people and their values.

About the Author

Article written by Richard J. Hohmann Jr., Senior Business and Management Consultant for Innovative Leadership, a strategic partner with Fitzpatrick, Bongiovanni, & Kelly, PC, and also a member of the Collaboration Team for Leadership Management International. Richard can also speak at your next organization's meeting, to invite him to speak call 609-390-2830, For your business solutions click here: http://www.ILDV.org

Richard J. Hohnmann Jr.