Companies Can't Ignore Employee Retention

By Carol Smith Seattle Post-Intelligencer | THE JOURNAL RECORD, October 29, 1997 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Companies Can't Ignore Employee Retention


Carol Smith Seattle Post-Intelligencer, THE JOURNAL RECORD


Companies have been so focused on getting rid of workers in an era of downsizing that some have forgotten how to hang on to them when they need to.

The result is that many companies are now facing a crisis quite opposite one they wrestled with a few years ago. Rather than trimming the payroll to beef up profitability in the short term, they need to keep more people on board to prevent their bottom lines from taking a dive.

But that's trickier to do in a work environment in which workers have begun to discover they have power and choices. Unemployment is at all-time lows, and so is loyalty, said Lynn Ware, president of Integral Training Systems, a national consulting and training firm based in the San Francisco Bay area. Companies, particularly technology-based ones, have been coming to firms such as hers to relearn the principles of employee retention. "There's a wave beginning to happen," said Ware, who has noticed heightened awareness of this issue in the past year. "Companies realize they too have to be concerned about people leaving." In the information-technology industry, for example, one in 10 positions is open, she said. And people report that they are being called at least once or twice a week by headhunters. A year ago, Ware was still running across the persistent attitude that "there are always people standing at the door to replace those that leave," she said. In addition, employers had the mind-set that attrition was inevitable and they couldn't do anything about it, she said. "They figured, why bother?" But cutting attrition rates by even a few percent "can be a phenomenal drop to the bottom line," Ware said. It saves companies money directly by reducing the costs of training, recruiting and relocating new employees. It also results in indirect savings. People who are leaving tend to be less productive, she said. And vacant positions represent lost opportunities. There are steps companies can take to bolster retention. "Up to 75 percent of why people are not staying has to do with factors that are in the control of managers," Ware said. There are several factors that correlate with employee commitment. The first is achievement. "People don't want to stay where they feel like they're losing," she said. People need a sense that they are winning at their job. Managers should take care to make sure they are tailoring assignments to insure a good fit between a person's skills and the project or task, she said.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Companies Can't Ignore Employee Retention
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?