It takes me anywhere between an hour and a half to two hours to get to work each day, and so I’ve had to find some things to do to pass the time. I’m not a big fan of sleeping on the train, although I have to say I did doze off a couple of times on the way back home, so I decided that I would try and make the most of my time and read. Reading helps me accomplish a number of things. First, I get to learn something new. Second, I can finally start justifying the money I’ve spent on books in the past. Third, it stops me from consuming more cellular data, which I already seem to do when I’m not commuting.
A book that I just finished was Loyalty 3.0 by Rajat Paharia. It’s a really good read, I suggest that anyone looking to see how gamification can help with employee and customer engagement needs to read it. Actually, I think anyone in marketing should read it even if they’re not looking at gamification. I like the book because it really gets into what motivates people and how you can apply certain methods to keep your customers and employees engaged.
In Loyalty 3.0, Rajat writes that “Studies by Chartcourse estimate that it costs on average $40,000 to replace a nurse, whereas technology companies can run up replacement costs of more than $125,000 per vacancy”. Those costs include replacement training, separation costs, and productivity losses. It would seem to make financial sense for each company to invest in retaining their employees rather than letting them walk.
Why employees leave
So why would your employees leave you? Well back in 2012 Forbes posted an article titled, “10 Reasons Your Top Talent Will Leave You”. Here are some of the key findings:
• More than 30% believe they’ll be working someplace else inside of 12 months.
• More than 40% don’t respect the person they report to.
• More than 50% say they have different values than their employer.
• More than 60% don’t feel their career goals are aligned with the plans their employers have for them.
• More than 70% don’t feel appreciated or valued by their employer.
Even though it was written in 2012, I’ll be some of those points still resonate with most people today. And more recently Forbes posted another article on this same topic, “Why Your Top Talent Is Leaving In 2014, And What It’ll Take To Retain Them”. In that article a survey found that 21% of respondents said that they would look to change jobs in the year. Some other findings of those unsatisfied survey respondents were:
• Workers who are dissatisfied with advancement opportunities at current company (45%)
• Workers who are dissatisfied with their work/life balance (39%)
• Workers who feel underemployed (39%)
• Workers who are highly stressed (39%)
• Workers who have a poor opinion of their boss’s performance (37%)
• Workers who feel they were overlooked for a promotion (36%)
• Workers who have been with their company two years or less (35%)
• Workers who didn’t receive a pay increase in 2013 (28%)
The article also pointed out something else, that the job title wasn’t really so important. “When asked what’s more important than the job title, employees said pay, schedule flexibility, the ability to make a difference, and challenging work, among other things.”
Digest all of that? So what’s can an employer do about it?
Focus areas for employee retention
Samantha Klein, Social Business Marketing Manager at IBM, writes that “the millennial generation will comprise nearly 75 percent of the world’s workforce by 2025”. So getting a leg up on knowing that it takes to keep millennials happy at your company should be a high priority. And just to throw in my 2 cents, you don’t have to be an official millennial to have a millennial way of thinking. In her post, “What would you do to keep your employees happy, motivated and productive?”, Samantha identifies four areas of focus for any company looking to retain the ever increasing millennial workforce and those that think like they do: collaboration and community, mentorship, continuous learning, and feedback. How does your company rate in these areas?
Companies spend a lot of time focusing on the customer, and they should, customers bring in revenue. But the backbone to a company and the force that engages the customer on the company’s behalf are the employees. What are some of the ways your company keeps you engaged and motivated? What are some of the ways companies can improve on doing this?