A near-record level of unemployment is causing more workers than ever to leave their employers for greener pastures. Turnover has been steadily rising since 2014, with a 22.9 percent increase in the past five years. A recent Gartner survey found 40% of Gen Z workers regret accepting a new job offer and more than a third who did plan to quit within 12 months. What can companies do to improve their odds of keeping talented team members in-house?
Be sure the candidate’s skills match the role.
When it comes to retention, transparency is your friend. The first opportunity to introduce transparency comes during the interview process. Be clear with prospective candidates about what they’ll be doing in the new role so your new hire won’t be surprised once he/she starts the job. Another way to promote retention is to be sure an employee’s skills truly fit the job. Workplace trends expert Stacey Harris points to research showing how well workers’ skills match the requirements of a job is more predictive of whether they’ll stay than how their manager treats them. To ensure a good job fit, look at the people who have already been successful in the role and create a list of hard and soft skills based on their performance. At that point, it becomes easier to structure interviews around identifying those same skills in your candidates.
Define clear paths for advancement.
In addition to flexibility and mobility, a company’s willingness to offer training and development is one of the most sought after characteristics in employers today. A recent LinkedIn survey found 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development. A competency-centric approach can set an employee development program apart by giving your team members an unusually clear roadmap for advancing to the next title or pay grade. It can also prevent bad hires, reduce turnover, and boost your mobility offerings. To start, develop a framework for your company that defines specific skills required for other positions. This not only helps to establish a learning culture at your company, but it also helps team leaders understand just how competitive their workforce is as a whole. Once you’ve created that competency framework, the next step is to integrate that model into the interview process. A more structured, skills-focused interview helps to ensure that all-important job fit. A competency-centric development program also acts as a talent magnet because it communicates the company is invested in team members’ success.
Get serious about pay parity.
The Economic Policy Institute estimates that people of color will become a majority of the American working class in 2032. By 2027, almost 60% of the entire U.S. workforce will be made up of women and racial and ethnic minorities. In the European Union, women will make up almost 50% of the labor force. As the global workforce becomes more diverse, organizations become increasingly vulnerable to the attrition associated with pay inequities and perceived pay inequities. One Gartner report found that if an employee perceives a pay gap, there’s a 16% increase in that person’s intent to leave. Once again, transparency can help, even internally. Many human resources teams don’t currently have full salary information visibility, so a great first step can be to empower your human resources team to do a pay gap analysis across the company. Alternatively, you can work with an experienced consultancy to identify any problem areas and develop a staged plan for addressing them. Research by Harvard Business Review points to the importance of avoiding large discrepancies with the external job market and paying women fairly.
Consider formalizing mentorship at your organization.
A growing body of research shows mentors lead to a host of benefits for companies including reduced turnover and increased retention. So, once your company has established a competency framework, the next step is to create a formal mentorship program that can make your workforce more competitive and help employees advance in their careers. Kahuna’s Mentor Finder is a popular feature among companies seeking to close skills gaps or ensure good knowledge transfer between older and younger workers.
Once team-level skills gaps are identified, individual members can be paired up with mentors who help them gain critical skills. Reverse mentorship is an important workplace trend these days too. Often, younger workers can help older ones gain key digital skills and get more comfortable with online platforms in general.
Interested in learning whether a competency-centric approach can help your organization retain top talent? Let’s chat.