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Employee retention vs. full employment — who wins?

Three tips to get employees to stay with your business and remain fulfilled.

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  • | 6:00 a.m. March 29, 2019
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One of the most significant challenges leaders face today, heck, one of the most significant challenges leaders have been faced with over the last 10 years of economic expansion, is retaining their employees in a full employment market.

A full employment market can be defined in so many ways but the definition that resonates with me the greatest is an employment market reaches full employment when virtually all who are able and willing to work are employed. So how can business leaders retain employees — with an eye toward achieving business objectives and goals?  

My experiences in leadership roles in both domestic and large global organizations over the last three decades and now leading my own company, have taught me that leaders must focus on three areas to increase retention. And when employee retention goes up, often so too does customer satisfaction and when customer satisfaction goes up, sales often increase as well. This symbiotic relationship has been studied and talked about for decades.  

Not so long ago, employees used to stay at companies longer than three years, remember those days? While those days are mostly gone, these three focus areas can help your employees stay at your company longer than the lifespan of a toddler.

Employment Value Proposition, EVP: Simply put, why should anybody join your company and more importantly, why should your employees stay? Answer these two questions and that is basically your EVP. Is your EVP focused on a strong purpose and mission that resonates so strongly with your employees that they stay simply for the work that they get to perform? Is your EVP about providing exceptional training that will help employees grow and develop and become the absolute best version of their self they can possibly become? Give your employees something to believe in and you are well on your way to a very sticky EVP.

Culture: So much has been written through the years on culture primarily because it really does matter. I am a firm believer in the Great Place to Work Institute’s Model on workplace trust ( Their model has five dimensions that lead to a higher level of workplace trust: camaraderie, pride, fairness, credibility and respect. A higher degree of trust leads to many things, including higher retention. More proof culture works? The best financially performing companies, by a factor of nearly 2 to 1 in the Russell 2,000 and the S&P 500 over the last 20-plus years, have been those companies with the highest levels of trust in their workplaces, according to the Great Place to Work Institute.

Rewards: The old saying, ‘Love ‘em or leave ‘em’ isn’t true anymore.’ Love ‘em or they’ll leave you’ is what is happening in today’s workplace. Not necessarily financial rewards as that is a given, but rewards important to each employee and to know what is important to each employee, you must really know each employee. Some employees want more vacation time, flex schedules, compressed work weeks, etc. Don’t spread rewards out over the organization where everybody gets the same — or you will miss an opportunity.  

Come together

Leadership is a tough way to make a living — but when done right, one’s professional fulfillment, as well as company success, is significant.  These areas can have a significant impact on an organization’s retention efforts but aside from that, focusing on these areas is just the right thing to do.

Darrin Rohr is the owner of HH Staffing and the former Chief HR Officer for several multinational Fortune 500 Companies. HH Staffing is headquartered in Sarasota, with offices in Tampa, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale.


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