Employee Retention
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Problems in Today’s Employment Climate

Problems in Today’s Employment Climate:

By Mike W. Hill Senior EX Consultant MobiusVP


  • Unplanned turnover the latest figures show that unplanned turnover can cost as much as three to five times the annual salary of the individual involved
  • Lack of performance feedback many employees are frustrated because they are not being given the direction, they need to succeed at their jobs
  • Lack of measurable criteria many employees are frustrated because they are not being given the direction they need to succeed at their jobs.

Unplanned turnover

According to current estimates, before an employee reaches the age of 34, he or she will have had eight jobs, and not all will have been in the same industry.

The latest figures show that unplanned turnover can cost as much as three to five times the annual salary of the individual involved.

The need to keep top talent cannot be overemphasized. Unplanned turnover can be devastating to an organization.

Employers must become proactive in retaining their top talent. They must come up with new ways to counter the reasons for employees leaving.

At the same time, they must keep their customers happy and make a profit. This is quite a plateful.

Today, it’s easy for an employee to change jobs.

Whenever we have a recession, employees are not of the mindset to leave their current employers, but in today’s environment it seems employees are always in the “I’m looking” mode.

Good companies do everything they can to keep good employees. Good companies know that there’s nothing more costly to an organization than investing time and money in a new hire who is not a good match for the organization.

Lack of Performance Feedback

One of the easiest ways to keep employees is to help them be successful at their work. Many employees are frustrated because they are not being given the direction they need to succeed at their jobs. These days many employees are brought into companies for a particular job, but within months or years they end up with new responsibilities and tasks assigned to them.

How do you ensure they are  getting the quality work accomplished that you need? You measure the employee performance. I hear this from managers all the time, “I wish the employee’s performance was better.”

I always ask; have you made it clear to the employee with measurements what their performance goals are. Many times, the manager wants to stop the conversation. I like to add; you get what to define and inspect.

Lack of measurable criteria   

When I ask employees why they are putting in 50-60 hours or more a week to get their job done – they really can’t describe clearly what their job is, so they do what they “think” they should do. Many times, that means they’re doing other people’s work. Clarity is critical!

The University of Chicago and University of Essex reported in a research paper that during the pandemic remote workers upped their hours worked by 30% yet productivity did not increase. So, this causes us to ask the question “what were these employees doing?

Author David Allen says “When you’re not sure where you’re going or what’s really important, you’ll never know when enough is enough. If you never tell the employee how they’re doing, they’ll assume what they’re doing is at an acceptable level, whether it is or not.”

Another way to help your employees to succeed is to evaluate their work, and to give feedback on their performance. What’s working and what needs attention. Some companies try to cover everything they can think of during a once-a-year employee evaluation.

I recommend a system of setting performance goals, and then measuring how well the employee is doing in accomplishing those goals. This feedback might be given weekly, monthly, or even quarterly depending upon the assignment and the individual. 

Do your employees need training? You can’t possibly know without an evaluation of their work.

A phrase that seems to be overused now days is “Engagement.” The statistics show how bad it is, but the statistics also show us that 33 percent of employees are engaged. When we investigate the “Why” employees are engaged we find that feedback is a key ingredient for engagement. Employee

Another benefit of a system: with measurable criteria is that we have a definition of success. Why is this important? People love to win! People are starving for “wins” now days. You’ve probably read where one of the biggest problems with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. (all the social media) are that all you read about or see are success stories. We see everyone else “winning” and so we look for “wins” in our own life.

Just think of the growth your company could experience if, at the end of the day, everyone went home feeling like a winner. Another benefit is that a measurement system gives you decision-making criteria. You set up your measurements, you evaluate the work, and if you see you’re not getting the results you need. What do you do? Work the system in those areas that should receive more emphasis. If one particular action step is giving you the results you desire – do more of that action.

This process is a game changer. When brought into a company needing help, generally after introducing the system into one department, this starts the ball (system) rolling fast. Once the other department managers see the results, they want in on the system.

They start looking for measurements in their own departments that indicate success. Most of the time managers look back at their past review/evaluations/feedback system and think “Why did we ever do it that way?”

The process clarifies focus. The measurement process keeps bringing you back to the question “What are we really trying to accomplish here?” If your answer is not what you’re focused on, change your focus.

Managers need facts and measurements to make competent decisions. Without this information, managers tend to worry more than they need to, even if the company is financially sound and vibrant. Employees have similar worries if they are not being evaluated by good measurement criteria.

Managers can eliminate uncomfortable situations but focusing on what needs to be measured and then measuring it. This new idea of measuring is sure to surprise and shock some employees and even some managers.

The “double-edged sword” of this strategy is that the business world is in a constant state of change. The measurements that were the focus of our attention yesterday may not be relevant tomorrow.

Employees leaving companies is a problem in today’s climate. The “true” reasons may never be discovered from some exiting employees. Exit interviews are great, but they often leave many questions unanswered. Some of the justification’s employees cite for leaving are:

  • Lack of Career development opportunities
  • Work-Life balance
  • Bad managers
  • Compensation and benefits issues

I believe all these issues can be addressed by giving regular feedback sessions and by using measurable criteria when evaluating employee performance.

To get the answers you need, you will need help.   

Consider reaching out to a professional firm that specializes in the type of research that can assist your company in employee retention.  

Mobius’ Employee Experience – EX Consulting Employee Experience – Mobius Vendor Partners (mobiusvp.com) – supports your goal to ensure an effective employee experience strategy.

From assessing through measurement (using our world class EX feedback management system, CustomerCount®) current staff sentiment to managing recommended improvements, Mobius will help you motivate your team to higher productivity, greater retention, and engagement.

Mike Hill and Bob Kobek will be delighted to offer a 1-hour no charge consulting engagement to discuss the above specific to your business needs.

Contact bobkobek@mobiusvp.com OR mikehill@mobiusvp.com Office: 317-816-6000

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