Settling for good HR practices compared with great HR practices can be the difference between mediocre performance and highly productive performance, both at an individual and team level. Especially in the emerging talent markets, designing a laser-focused employee experience can help reduce turnover, strengthen engagement and enhance your employer brand. Great HR leaders will champion efforts with senior leaders on workplace practices to build upon and also identify where to improve. Here are some tips for how to take action:
Perhaps more important than touting your employer brand to new recruits is conveying it to your current employees for retention purposes. The average cost of replacing someone who quits is 30% of annualized base salary, so increasing retention has its financial perks! According to an IBM and Workhuman study, “The Financial Impact of a Positive Employee Experience,” there are objective ways to measure subjective drivers and outcomes related to employee experience in the following buckets: Purpose, Belonging, Happiness, Achievement, Vigor.
The first thing you must do with your current team is establish a baseline for how they feel about working at your organization. Have you asked them recently? If not, set a deadline to get a survey out with pointed questions around employee experience. By moving the needle over time, you will gain outcomes like discretionary effort, high performance and retention.
Recognize that managers hold a critical role in retaining employees. If managers are ill-equipped to have regular conversations about priorities, goals and barriers for their employees, coach them! You can’t afford to have bad managers who are poor communicators representing your company to talent you value. Score managers on how well they’re leading their staff during performance evaluation conversations.
Great HR practices doesn’t mean creating a company culture that only works for employees. Contrary to popular belief, millennials, et al, don’t demand that great employers have a brewery in the office or free subscriptions to Spotify (but by all means, those are cool)! If employers could do ONE THING to focus on driving retention, it’s communication! Simple, regular 1:1s with their folks to talk about what they’re doing, how they’re doing, recognition and professional development is the single best way to know if someone is passionate about what they’re doing and if they’re thinking about leaving you. There are ways to automate, record and track 1:1 trends for busy teams – check out WorkTok, a simple and affordable solution.
Another great HR practice to foster a positive work experience is to talk about one actionable development item that your employee can focus on to advance their skills and grow their value for the company. A suggestion would be to allow them an opportunity to be involved in a key decision (examples could include planning an event, developing content for a marketing flyer, running a critical meeting with a client, etc.).
The employee experience is multi-faceted and should be a topic of conversation when developing your HR strategy, short and long-term. Assess how you’re doing and develop actions to upgrade. If you need help, call Leath HR Group, a team of HR professionals who enjoy modernizing people processes for our demanding clients.
Lisa Leath, SHRM-SCP is the President of Leath HR Group. She is a strategic HR leader with clients across industries, from start-ups to $100M+ in annual revenue. Before starting the business in 2017, she was VP, Human Resources at an international pharmaceutical organization with 7 global locations. Prior to that, she spent 8 years with a Fortune 300 manufacturing company at multiple plants in Employee Relations and HR leadership roles. Her first job out of Penn State was in NYC, where she worked in HR at a large intellectual property law firm. No matter the business or industry, the approach to her career has remained consistent – stay on the cutting edge of benchmarked best practices, then tailor “next practice” HR solutions to specific industries and situations. She has a reputation for building great processes and strategic direction for demanding clients. Lisa is a Senior Certified Professional through the Society of Human Resource Management.
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