Why HR Needs to Worry About Employee Retention Too

by Justin Reynolds on Aug 9, 2016 11:00:00 AM

high retentionThere’s a disturbing trend emerging in many HR circles: Many HR professionals don’t put much emphasis on employee retention because they figure they’ll potentially lose their jobs if they no longer need to recruit new employees.

What?

While their hesitance is somewhat understandable, it’s completely unfounded if for no other reason than retention rates are a reflection of the strength — or weakness — of any HR department. But employee retention isn’t just something that the C-suite and managers should care about. It should be top of mind for HR departments too. Here’s why:

 

Companies Invest in HR so They Hire the Right People the First Time

HR departments are often charged with the task of recruiting potential candidates to fill new roles. No, they’re not content with finding any old warm body to take a position. They are supposed to find the best people for the job, giving managers a number of well-suited options to choose from. When HR works perfectly, the strongest candidates are hired every time.

 

HR Is Responsible for Solving Conflicts

From time to time, at least some of your employees will have problems relating to their clients, their coworkers, their bosses, or their workloads. Its the job of HR to hear these problems out and do whatever they can to help solve them.

Everyone knows what it’s like to have something change for the better at work. By definition, these improvements elevate workers’ moods. When conflicts are resolved, employees get their second (or third or fourth) wind — which means they should stick around.

 

The Department Is Also Responsible for Incentivizing Employees

HR focuses on making sure employees have the tools and support they need to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. Things like employee engagement initiatives, recognition policies, and benefits usually fall under their umbrella. In this light, HR’s role is directly intertwined with employee happiness. The more incentives employees have to stick around, the more likely they will be to do exactly that.

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HR Is Involved With the Performance Review Process

In most organizations, HR plays a pivotal role in the performance review process. As such, they’re privy to what’s going on in the professional lives of each of their employees. They are aware if certain employees are having a tough time with specific people or projects, and they know whether workers are engaged.

Whenever HR uncovers unhappy or disengaged employees, its their responsibility to see what can be done to improve morale. Great HR departments help reengage employees and set them on the right path, which in turn convinces them to stick around that much longer.

 

Retention Increases Employee Morale

Coworkers are the number one thing employees like about their jobs, according to our Employee Engagement Report. Better retention stats mean that employees will work next to each other for an even longer period of time, strengthening the team bond that much more. And with strong retention, employee morale will improve. Workers will enjoy heading to the office and giving it their all because they know their coworkers have their backs and are doing the same.

employee retention improves workplace morale

 

It Also Helps the Recruitment Process

When employees stick around for a while at any given company, prospective candidates take notice. No matter how well or how poorly the economy is doing, job security is still important. High employee retention rates will attract a number of talented job seekers who are interested in growing professionally at one company instead of hopping from place to place.

What’s more, employees who stick around have their own networks full of skilled coders, salespeople, copywriters, graphic designers, and more. The longer your employees stay in place, the higher the chances are that your company will be to land one of these candidates through a referral.

 

Retention Saves the Company Money

It costs a ton of money to hire new employees. Because every organization is interested in padding their bottom line as much as possible, this, of course, is not ideal. The better your company’s retention stats, the less money it has to spend in the aggregate on hiring. This frees up resources that can be invested in growing operations.

 

It Also Makes a Workforce More Effective

As the Harvard Business Review points out, it may take up to six months for a new employee to become fully productive in their new role. In other words, you have to cover six months’ worth of salary and expenses before your new hire gets to the point they can cover the entirety of their job responsibilities. That being the case, the last thing you want is your talented and trained employees to jump ship.

With strong retention, your staff is made up of skilled and knowledgeable workers who know exactly what they’re doing. As a result, they’re more effective.

employee productivity

 

People Change Jobs — Such Is Life

In a perfect world, you’d hire an employee and they’d stick with you until they retired. That might have been the case in the past, but work has changed dramatically over the last few decades — or even the last few years. According to Forbes, the average millennial will have anywhere between 15 and 20 jobs by the time they retire. There’s nothing you can do about the fact that many of today’s workers change jobs frequently.

No matter how good of a job HR does, it’s only a matter of time before an employee will decide to jump ship. Maybe they’ve received an offer out of the blue that was simply too good to pass up. Maybe their life circumstances (e.g., starting a family or moving across the country) dictate that they have to move on. Maybe they win the lottery and figure they’d rather spend their time on leisure activities.

Whatever the case may be, even the best HR department in history will be unable to retain all of its employees in perpetuity. That being the case, HR professionals should do everything possible to keep as many of its employees on board for as long as possible. It’s a win for their department, for the company, and for the bottom line. TIINYpulse

 

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This post was written by Justin Reynolds

Justin Reynolds is a freelance copywriter, journalist, and editor based in Connecticut.

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