Magazine article New Zealand Management

NZIM : Keeping in Sync - the Battle for Talent; This Battle Rages on Two Fronts. Finding the Best Available People and Keeping Talent Already Recruited. the Second of These Two Conundrums Is Easier to Solve If You Know What Keeps People in Your Camp. A Recent Australian Study Provides Some Answers. Reg Birchfield Precis the Findings

Magazine article New Zealand Management

NZIM : Keeping in Sync - the Battle for Talent; This Battle Rages on Two Fronts. Finding the Best Available People and Keeping Talent Already Recruited. the Second of These Two Conundrums Is Easier to Solve If You Know What Keeps People in Your Camp. A Recent Australian Study Provides Some Answers. Reg Birchfield Precis the Findings

Article excerpt

Byline: Reg Birchfield

Staff turnover, in times of war, can be fatal. It can bleed an organisation to death when a transfusion of easy to find new talent is either too expensive or non-existent. And make no mistake, employers everywhere are at war as they search an increasingly tight labour market looking for people best equipped to deliver organisational success.

Some of the best talent is, of course, already recruited. But what keeps it loyal to the cause and primed to fight?

According to a recent Australian Insync Surveys Retention Review (see www.insyncsurveys.com.au), almost 90 percent of employee turnover is avoidable. And that's half the battle. Keep the best of what you've got.

To keep people, managers must first understand the reasons they abscond; which ones are most likely to desert and what, exactly, is the real cost of troop attrition? Estimates of the cost of staff turnover vary between 50 and 200 percent of an employee's annual salary.

As the Insync Surveys team points out, an understanding of staff turnover issues is vital to create an 'effective retention strategy' and ensure your organisation has the resources to grow and meet performance targets. It also points out there is a wide range of organisational, interpersonal and personal factors that affect an employee's decision to leave.

There are, it seems, five big reasons for leaving an organisation. And while we might bang on about work/life balance, that is not top of the list. It is, however, number five on the Insync Surveys list.

Job satisfaction, or rather the lack of it, counts most. Employees still fundamentally desire to be happy at work, be well remunerated and be able to see or have available adequate advancement opportunities.

Drilling down on specifics the survey found three powerful predictors of an employee leaving due to lack of job satisfaction. * Skills not used to the full potential.

* Efforts at work not recognised.

* Not having the resources to do a job well.

Reasons for leaving an organisation can be grouped into four general categories: enrichment, which applies in 40 percent of cases; home life (23 percent); structural (20 percent) and interpersonal (17 percent). Personal reasons account for only 11 percent.

Women identify the absence of enrichment - factors including work potential, skill development, achievement and recognition - as a primary motivator for leaving, a little more often than men do. They also give higher importance to interpersonal factors, relationships within the organisation, with direct supervisors and other employees, than men do.

There is no difference between men and women when it comes to factors incorporating work/life balance.

According to Insync, women are more likely to leave because of their relationship with their direct manager. A manager will strongly factor in a woman's decision to leave when their direct report does not actively listen to employees or value their opinion or, when they don't recognise an employee's contribution and efforts at work.

"Women leave jobs not because they have different motivations than men, but because their opportunities are blocked and they are not well led," according to the survey authors. "Building strong relationships and coaching women to develop and succeed go hand in hand. Providing opportunities for growth, demonstrating an interest in women's career development and recognising their efforts will increase retention."

The researchers also surveyed generational issues such as retaining the mature workforce. …

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