In 2018, the Virginia Chamber Foundation commissioned a study titled, "Economic Impact of Amazon’s Major Corporate Headquarters in Virginia and the Washington MSA." Their findings? The total economic impact of Amazon HQ2 will be $14.2 billion in Virginia. While this is great news for the region’s economy, what does it mean to businesses already operating in the area?
Every time an experienced employee walks out the door they take a boatload of experience with them. That experience is valuable and losing it hurts. Whether a manager or individual contributor, the longer good employees stay, the better it is for your organization, which is why hiring for longevity should always be near the top of a recruiter’s list of priorities.
Eliminating attrition altogether is impossible, but creating structures to find, hire and support people disposed towards longevity has wide ranging benefits. After all, training and onboarding is time intensive and expensive, and institutional knowledge is valuable, which makes holding onto productive contributors an important aspect of growing and improving organizations.
Disengaged managers have disengaged employees.
According to Gallup’s State of the American Manager report, managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores across business units. Sadly, the percentage of engaged managers is only slightly higher than the percentage of engaged employees. Pretty scary when you consider that only 30% of today’s U.S. workforce is engaged.
Retention and employee experience are two sides of the same coin. Here’s a quick story: In one of my previous roles at a different company, a new senior leader came on and laid off half of our department. Those of us remaining were in shell shock. We knew this happens at companies all the time. But little was done to alleviate the fears of those who remained (and had a lot more work on their plates) and the culture seriously suffered. I started looking for a new job almost immediately and accepted an offer a few months later. The day before I was going to give my notice, my manager started a discussion about compensation but for me, it was too little, too late. And for most people, money can’t make up for a negative work experience.
There’s an old saying that says, “Employees don’t leave jobs, they leave managers.” And it’s often true. Throughout my career, I’ve talked to hundreds of employees who love the company and their work, but they can’t stand their manager. So they leave. Sometimes they will just transfer to a different department or another location. Sometimes they will leave the organization all together.
Balancing between training current employees to fill future positions and investing in staffing processes to land top-tier external candidates is tricky. Even if you’ve already found (and hired) your next top performer, it’s important to know the pros and cons of developing talent within your company.
Employee retention is the rate at which a company is able to keep their employees working for them. If a company keeps half of its employees around for one year, the employee retention rate for that specific year would be 50%. Many businesses are aware of the importance of employee retention and will enact policies or strategies in order to maintain a higher level of retention. When they are able to keep their existing employees around, they are able to reduce the costs associated with hiring and training new employees when their existing ones leave.
So often we see articles and reports on employee disengagement and workplace dissatisfaction. From all of the coverage it gets, you might be tempted to believe that disengagement and dissatisfaction levels are high when, in reality, they are at some of the lowest levels we have seen in years. In some instances, we are talking all-time lows. As the economy continues to show improvements, so does the overall employee interest in staying loyal to their organization or employer.
Imagine your first day on a new job. You arrive and no one is waiting to greet you or your HR representative is running late. When you do get started, you are asked to fill out some forms for taxes and benefits, but you don’t receive guidance on your 401k distributions until you prompt your representative. After this, a two minute “welcome” video is played describing the basics of the company and you are then whisked away to meet your team only to find out that half of them are at lunch and you have no desk and you can’t login to your laptop. The final icing on the cake is that it is only half past noon.