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Archive for November, 2018

EMPLOYEE RETENTION STRATEGY

Retention

Employee retention is important to organizations in order to facilitate achieving a company’s goals and objectives.  HR leaders consider improved retention a high priority over the next five years.  Although retention is considered a priority, efforts to increase it have been stymied due to competing priorities and a lack of resources.  The side effects of turnover are not only financially based, but are noticed in decreased productivity, knowledge loss, and a lowered morale.

Some interesting statistics on employee retention include:

  • About 3 million Americans have QUIT their job each month since June 2017 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • 30% of employees leave a new job within the first 90 days of employment (Jobvite)
  • 51% of employees are looking to leave their jobs (Gallup)
  • Companies that support remote work have 25% lower employee turnover than companies that don’t (Owl Labs)
  • 35% of employees report that they’d look for a new job if they did not receive a pay raise within the next year (Glassdoor)
  • 44% of employees would consider taking a job with a different company for a raise of 20% or less (Gallup)
  • 71% of retirees who returned to work originally retired due to a lack of flexibility in their work (Global Workplace Analytics)

With nearly one-third of employees leaving a new job within the first 90 days after starting a new position, it is important to understand the dynamics causing employees to quit.  The top reason cited was that the day-to-day role was not what the employee expected.  Other top reasons include: the employee had a bad experience that drove them away and the company culture lacked transparency.

Before addressing retention, the first step is to make sure that you hire the right employees—hire selectively.  It is important to ensure that the new hire has the right skills for the position as well as being a good fit with the company culture, the manager, and the coworkers that they will interact with on a daily basis.

Once hired, onboarding and orientation activities will help to set new hires up for success. These activities can last for a few weeks or months depending on your organization.  Aim to develop an onboarding process in which new staff members not only learn about the job but also the company culture and how they can contribute and thrive, with ongoing discussions, goals, and opportunities to address questions and issues.

Establish mentorship programs to pair a new employee with a mentor.  The mentor can provide a wealth of knowledge and resources to the new employee while the new employee can offer a fresh viewpoint to the mentor (mentor should not be the supervisor).

Offering an attractive compensation package is essential in this competitive market.  This includes salaries as well as bonuses, paid time off, health benefits, retirement plans, and other perks that distinguishes one workplace from another.

Work-life balance is important; burnout is a factor that impacts retention.  What is your company’s culture?  A healthy work-life balance is important and employees need to know that management understand its importance.

Employees like to feel that they have the possibility for advancement.  Training and development programs send a message that the employer is interested in their career growth.  It is import for managers to ask their direct reports about their career goals and determine how they can help them achieve their goals.

Providing opportunities for open communication and feedback is essential for employee retention.  Direct reports need to feel that they can voice their ideas, questions, and concerns.  In return, employees want management to be open and honest in their communication, especially feedback about their performance.  Employees desire ongoing feedback about their performance.

Recognize accomplishments of both the individual employee and the team. This can be as simple as a thank-you note or as elaborate as setting up a group excursion.  It is important to celebrate successes—to help employees feel engaged in their work environment

Employee retention matters; it is important to understand what is causing turnover within your organization.  Employee exit interviews provide information that can help retain your remaining staff.

At WageWatch our compensation consultants are focused on your organization’s compensation needs and ready to help you ensure that your compensation programs are supporting your company’s business strategy and objectives. WageWatch also offers accurate, up-to-date benefit surveys, salary surveys and pay practices data that will allow you to stay current with the times. This information is highly beneficial in creating the best salary and benefits packages that meet or rival the industry standards. For more information on our services, including consulting, salary survey data, benefit survey data and market compensation reports, please call WageWatch at 888-330-9243 or contact us online.

Posted in Uncategorized on November 14th, 2018 · Comments Off on EMPLOYEE RETENTION STRATEGY

HOW ABOUT A SIX HOUR WORKDAY?

Six-hour workday

 

Can a move to a six-hour workday increase productivity and the happiness quotient of employees and their families and at the same time increase productivity and company profits?   In the U.S., more than 60 years after workers, through their unions, began organizing for an eight-hour day in the 1860s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938 for all workers to see limits on working hours – initially, it was set at 44 hours a week, then reduced to 42 hours, and by 1940 the work week was reduced to 40 hours.

Some businesses in Sweden have experimented with a six-hour workday with the hope of getting more accomplished in a shorter amount of time and ensure that employees have the energy to enjoy their private lives.   This change is purely experimental—one that has not been mandated by law nor implemented nationwide.

A Toyota vehicle service center in Sweden’s second largest city, Gothenburg, moved to shorter days fifteen years ago.  The service center reported a happier staff, a lower turnover rate, and an increase in profits during that time.  The new system keeps the garages open longer and generates new business.  Employees are doing the same amount in the six-hour workday, often more than they did in the eight- hour day.  The service center reports that employees have more stamina to do this heavy work, and they have seen greater profits and customers because cars are getting fixed faster.

A high-profile case is the publicly funded Svartedalens nursing home in west Sweden.  They began a trial a six-hour day to determine if the cost of hiring additional staff members to cover the hours lost, was worth the improvements to patient care and the boosting of employees’ morale.   The nursing home had 80 nurses working six-hour shifts (maintaining their eight-hour salaries) while 80 staffers at another nursing home worked their standard hours.  Halfway through the test period, the nursing home with the six-hour workday had half the average sick leave, the nurses were happier, and the care was better.   The study, however, equates productivity with a quality of care, which doesn’t necessarily translate to white-collar work.

A number of startup companies announced that they are testing the concept.  The companies include Background AB, a creative communication agency in Falun, Dalarna and Filimundus, an app developer based in Stockholm.  Linus Feldt, Filimundus CEO believes that staying focused on a specific work task for eight hours is a huge challenge.  During an eight or more hour workday, employees take frequent breaks and look for distractions and diversions such as social media to make the workday more endurable.  With the six-hour workday, staff members at Filimundus are not allowed on social media, meetings are kept to a minimum, and the company does it’s best to eliminate other unproductive distractions.

Most of the companies who have made the shift to the six-hour workday have reported a positive impact, from increased efficiency to better communication and fewer staff sick days.  A 2014 Stanford University research paper found a “non-linear” relationship between hours worked and productivity, as well as too much work, can actually impinge productivity.  According to a study by the Families and Work Institute, overworked employees make more mistakes.  Research has shown that condensing work into more efficient hours is very unlikely to hurt productivity.  There is no need to lower pay and in fact, companies are likely to save money through less sick and personal leave, less stress leading to better health, and lower turnover costs.

The six-hour work day would be less acceptable in the U.S. because the eight plus hour workday ethic is so deeply embedded in our culture.  According to Gallup’s 2014 poll, full-time employees in the U.S. work an average of 47 hours per week.  However, even with encouraging results, it’s unlikely that the U.S. will shift to shorter days any time soon.  The rest of the world (outside of Europe) a 40 hour work week would be a very nice improvement as well.

At WageWatch our compensation consultants are focused on your organization’s compensation needs and ready to help you ensure that your compensation programs are supporting your company’s business strategy and objectives. WageWatch also offers accurate, up-to-date benefit surveys, salary surveys and pay practices data that will allow you to stay current with the times. This information is highly beneficial in creating the best salary and benefits packages that meet or rival the industry standards. For more information on our services, including consulting, salary survey data, benefit survey data and market compensation reports, please call WageWatch at 888-330-9243 or contact us online.