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Three tips to improve employee retention in the times of job-hopping

Written by Liam Butler on Monday, 20 August 2018. Posted in Talent, People

When candidates are more than likely to swap employers like pop stars switch outfits at a gig, employers must work even harder to not lose great talent.

Three tips to improve employee retention in the times of job-hopping

A recent survey from Robert Half found that 64% of workers favour job-hopping – a 22% increase from four years ago. Boredom, better prospects, the promise of a salary increase, better benefits or a more suitable role are all reasons why employees might decide to hand in their resignation. But losing an employee is rarely good for the company. The cost of onboarding a new member of staff and the loss of productivity in training someone new can be detrimental to business. Furthermore, if you find that you have a high employee turnover, it can also be bad for your reputation.

So how can business leaders and HR managers improve their employee retention rate in the age of job-hopping? Improving employee retention doesn’t mean you have to instantly give your employees pay-rises or re-assess your benefits package. In fact, there is a quite simple solution to improving employee retention that is often overlooked. It’s called career mobility. Often, managers and employers can get so caught up in the day-to-day running of their business they fail to ensure they’re having regular reviews and check-ins with their employees. One of the most important things to today’s workforce is career prospects. If an employee feels as though their current employment does not offer them an assured career path or they don’t feel like their company is investing in them then they won’t hang around for long.

Career mobility can be defined as the movement of employees across departments and positions or even to a complete change in occupation. Career mobility improves employee retention because, when done well, it prevents employee boredom and shows your workforce that you care about their career prospects. It also allows employees to find a role that fits their aspirations and needs without having to find a new job all together. Companies need to do better to implement career mobility, to understand the aspirations of their employees and work with them to find opportunities within the organisation – whether that’s up, down or sideways into new territory altogether.

Below are three tips for implementing a career mobility programme that will improve employee retention.

Regular reviews are a must

The age of the annual review is past us. Employees nowadays prefer more frequent and shorter catch-ups to discuss how they feel they’re doing at work, what they could do to improve and where they see their career heading. These more frequent catch-ups keep employees motivated and help to ensure their eyes don’t wander towards the job board.

Regular reviews also help keep employees accountable for reaching their goals and ensure management delivers on its promise of career mobility.

Technology can simplify career mobility

To truly enable career mobility employers must invest in the right talent management technology. Identifying opportunities is a good first step but managers must then figure out what skills are needed to switch career paths, the costs of doing so and how to do it.

A single, cloud-based data model that streamlines employee training and reviews can help managers identify skills and competency gaps, and give employees access to the resources and training to move forward. Career mobility isn’t hard to offer but achieving it requires a consistent approach and effort from both parties. Technology that simplifies this process is a worthwhile investment.

Learning and development is crucial

Once you’ve established a framework that promotes career mobility, it’s important to empower each employee by giving them the autonomy to guide their own learning and development. Modern learners expect a consumer like experience from a learning platform, one similar to Netflix or online shopping. Personalised, self-curated and on-demand learning is key. It gives individuals a sense of ownership to reach their development goals at the pace they decide, and in a way that keeps them motivated. When the future is tangible and not simply in the hands of a manager, they’re more likely stick around.

In the job-hopping age, where new job opportunities are just a few clicks of a mouse away, retaining employees is undoubtedly harder. However, by offering career mobility and showing employees that you care about their career progression, you will have a much easier time keeping them around.

About the Author

Liam Butler

Liam Butler

Liam Butler is the area vice President EMEA at SumTotal Systems, a Skillsoft company

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