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Winging It

Plan to fly high with employee retention efforts.

August 04, 2014
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Winging It

Dragonflies and hummingbirds are efficient creatures. This efficiency is critical to survival and proliferation.

“Flight performance of dragonflies is one of the examples of nature’s efficiency,” says AskNature.  These winged insects fly backwards, forwards, and sideways, and are “extremely fast and agile.”

Dragonflies “can also hover in midair and then instantly reverse the direction of their flight or rapidly accelerate.”

Hummingbirds are incredibly strong. “The only type of bird that relies solely on its own strength to hover in the air, a hummingbird flapping its wings requires more mass-based mechanical power output than any other form of locomotion,” observes Science Magazine.

Your management of human capital, too, requires efficiency for strength and survival. Learn what talent retention strategies will help you fly forward.

‘There’s something just magical about flight.  Period.’  —Graham Hawkes, engineer

The magic of flight is appreciated by scientists, but likely not by human resource departments regarding employee turnover.

Do you know “Why Your Top Talent Is Leaving In 2014, And What It’ll Take To Retain Them”?  Forbes provides some insight gleaned from a CareerBuilder survey.

One in five (21%) of survey respondents are planning to switch jobs this year or next, despite the fact that 59% of workers are generally satisfied. 

Dissatisfied employees are most likely to leave, citing salary concerns (66%) and a sense of not being valued (65%). Others consider departure due to lack of opportunity to advance (45%), unhappiness with work/life balance (39%), two year or less tenure with the employer (35%), high stress (39%), and unhappiness with the boss’s performance (37%).

“An earlier CareerBuilder survey from 2013 found that a majority of workers (70%) reported that increasing salaries is the best way to boost employee retention, while 58% pointed to better benefits.”

Flexible scheduling, more recognition, and special perks like on-site fitness centers and catered lunches may also help boost retention.

Another employee retention alarm is sounded in a HRhero post. “Management consulting firm Hay Group released research at the end of last year predicting that the global employee turnover rate would see a steep increase in 2014.”

Further, a cited survey indicates “a whopping 83 percent of the people surveyed said they planned to look for a new job during 2014” and “employers are smart to focus on retention.”

A few suggestions to keep workers around include:

·         Opportunities for employees to provide feedback;

·         Time and effort spent on recruitment and hiring;

·         “Solid” orientation programs;

·         Good communication policies; and,

·         Good pay and benefits.

2014 Compensation Trends Focus on Employee Retention,” notes a post at

Here, “Surges in growth and hiring have created a growing concern about the retention of top talent,” says a Payscale report.  Many companies surveyed feel good about fiscal returns in 2014 “but only if top talent sticks around.”  Indeed, 60% indicated retention as a top concern; in 2014, 54% of businesses planned to hire and 88% planned on issuing raises.

Also of note, “In 2013, better compensation was the number one reason employees sought employment elsewhere.”  With available jobs increasing, “employees may start to look towards greener pastures, especially if green means more money.”

The pool of job seekers is getting smaller with declining layoffs, and “employers may have to hire even more aggressively and raise pay if they want to expand their business,” concurs a Houston Chronicle article. 

So far, wages have kept pace with inflation and employers have resisted salary increases, although “Some firms say they’re already dealing with wage pressures” and “…When the dam breaks, it’s really going to break,” notes Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisers, an economic consulting firm.

Consider the importance of a good benefits package as part of a compensation plan. “Employees who are very satisfied with their benefits are more likely to feel loyal to their company and to believe their company is loyal to them,” according to a MetLife study, “Benefits Breakthrough.”  

This study “reinforces a strong correlation between benefits satisfaction and job satisfaction.” The good news is that “the percentage of employees who would recommend their company as a great place to work has increased from 42% to 52% in the past twelve months.”

Consult this interesting resource to learn what benefits are valued by employees, and what you might consider in crafting your benefits offerings as a retention tool.

Might you find efficiencies in compensation and benefits plans to prevent turnover? What are the costs of recruitment efforts in comparison to retention efforts?

‘Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.’  --Peter Drucker

Two final sources this week reveal employee engagement and satisfaction can equate to company growth. 

Learn “How Employee Engagement Drives Growth,” according to Gallup.  Here a study shows “companies with engaged workforces have higher earnings per share (EPS), and they seem to have recovered from the recession at a faster rate.” 

Interesting research facts:

·         147% higher EPS was experienced by companies “with an average of 9.3 engaged employees for every actively disengaged employee in 2010-2011…compared with their competition in 2011-2012.”

·         2% lower EPS was reported by companies averaging 2.3 engaged employees for each disengaged one, over the same time span.

Lastly, “To Win With Natural Talent, Go For Additive Effects,” says Gallup.  “Human capital strategies” can combine to result in “59% more growth in revenue per employee.”

These four strategies:

1.       Choose the right managers

2.       Choose talented employees.

3.       Create an engagement culture.

4.       “Focus on strengths.”

Less than 1% of U.S. organizations incorporate these four strategies. “This highlights an area of tremendous opportunity for companies to accelerate their growth.”

Fireflies fascinate. “Bioluminescence in fireflies is nearly 100 percent efficient,” says the National Wildlife Federation.  Little energy is wasted as these winged creatures light up the night.

How can you create efficiencies in flight to reach high altitudes?

Light up your employees with job satisfaction and good compensation strategy.

LORA BRAY is an information research analyst for CUNA’s economics and statistics department.

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