The Biggest HR Issue No One Is Talking About for 2015 #EWS2014

Hey, gang I’m running a sponsored post by the great folks at Spherion regarding their 2014 Emerging Workforce Study which has some really great data, check it out. You can win a $100 American Express gift card by just commenting on this post with your favorite EWS Statistic, sharing this post on Facebook and/or Tweeting this post with the #EWS2014.  That’s easy, go do it! You know you need the extra scratch for the holidays!

I’ve been asked by about dozen people to give my HR and Talent predictions for 2015.  I haven’t done any yet, because there is really one, serious, one that came to mind.  The one prediction that is keeping me up at night, is RETENTION!  More specifically, how do we retain our employees as the options for their talent continue to increase.

Here are some alarming points from the Emerging Workforce Study:

    • 25 percent of all workers are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months.
    • Companies report they have only put in minimal effort to retain their workers.
    • Companies that do not have retention programs in place have 61 percent more expected turnover in the next 12 months, compared to companies who have retention programs in place (average expected turnover 21 percent vs. 12 percent\

One of the main problems is that employers and employees wholeheartedly disagree on what drives retention. Employers focus more on intangible items, feeling that the management climate (89%), an employee’s relationship with his or her supervisor (85%) and the culture and work environment (81%) are most important when retaining employees.  Not surprisingly, employees focus more on ‘bread and butter’ issues, feeling that financial compensation (78%), benefits (76%) and growth and earnings potential (71%) are most important in retaining employees.

 The reality is Retention in HR use to be a ‘sexy’ topic to talk about and game plan.  The recession hit a decade ago, and retention was no longer an issue. It was virtually forgotten about for 10 years!  No one cared.  Employees were staying because there weren’t any jobs.  That is rapidly changing and we have an entire generation of leadership and HR that doesn’t even really understand how to retain their own talent.

Isn’t there an App for that?  Probably, but it doesn’t really work!

Retention is one of those crazy things that takes a lot of effort by a lot of people to make it work.  Great leadership. Check.  Great compensation and benefits. Check. Great work environment. Check.  Growth potential. Check.  Retention is all about ‘blocking and tackling’.  You have to do all the basic leadership and HR things well.  Let one go, and Bam! You have a retention problem.  You can cover up problems by doing one of these things really well, but it’s a short term solution.  You pay the best! Great, you bought yourself some time. You have horrible leaders? Great pay only works so long before people will leave!

Retaining your best workers will be one of the most talked about issues by the end of 2015.  By then the unemployment numbers will be low enough where bad companies can no longer get good talent, or the good talent they have will be leaving for better companies.  That’s the tipping point.  We are quickly getting there.  Are you ready?


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Spherion partnered with bloggers such as me for their Emerging Workforce Study program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any idea mentioned in these posts. Spherion believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Spherion’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. 

8 thoughts on “The Biggest HR Issue No One Is Talking About for 2015 #EWS2014

  1. I think a good portion of the cause for not discussing retention was an abundance of skilled workers. After the recent recession in the late 2000’s there was an over abundance of workers looking for work after slashed departments. This economic environment put people into a tough position. Companies on the other hand took advantage of this situation and were able to focus on less retention needs because of the number of people looking for work. People became replaceable.

    The solution for this from an organizational perspective was simply to let this happen. Other priorities took precedence. And instead of focusing on creating the foundation for retention, training, engagement, and a happy (intrinsically) workforce it was able to be passed along for the economic investment was needed elsewhere.

    Funny, this is like the creation of the national highway system in my mind. It takes a massive investment at the beginning to get the foundation [for retention] into place but afterwards, it pays dividends for years to come.

  2. I have retained employees through some seriously harsh times. I never keep it a secret that I couldn’t run the company without them. I am grateful that they choose to come to work at my company every day and I let them know that. They are paid fair salaries but there have been no extras for a long time. #EWS2014

  3. The basics matter. Telling a person you appreciate them, saying happy birthday with a group and a card. Knowing them as a person, and asking how it’s going. You know, treat people like you want to be treated. Simple, but true.

  4. These employee surveys started in the late 90s and that’s when the idea that “employees leave their manager” was hammered into our heads. Then the recession came and with massive layoffs and reductions in compensation, employee priorities naturally changed. Employers, though, haven’t quite gotten that message yet and will likely be surprised when their current retention methods aren’t working. By the time they do figure it out, employee priorities will have evolved once again. It’s really interesting to watch!

  5. In the past, employees did highlight those non-tangibles such as company leadership, training/development, a good supervisor, etc. as reasons to stay. With the recession, those things didn’t pay the bills. Now the focus is back on compensation, benefits, and related items. As you point out, the confidence in the economy and the increase job opportunities are attracting employees to look elsewhere as they aren’t scared their job search won’t be successful. We will need to strategize with our executives as it will affect the bottom line now but save dollars in the future.

  6. The best way to make sure your employees are WORTH retaining is by thorough #EmployeeBackgroundChecks . A proper Employment Screening Solution will not only help you retain your best workers, but it will help keep out the distractions and problems that a bad hire can cause. #EWS2014

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