New Europe Resourcing Executive Search, Research and HR Consultancy Services
Time to retain
After many talks with employers and employees in different countries and evaluating the crisis events that passed in the last calendar year we feel that Managers should emphasize more on the retention of their staff.

Companies around the world were and are cutting back their financial-incentive programs, but few have used other ways of inspiring their talents. Numerous studies have concluded that for people with satisfactory salaries, some non-financial motivators are more effective than extra cash in building long-term employee engagement. Many financial rewards mainly generate short-term boosts of energy.

 

Some of non-financial motivators like praise from immediate managers, leadership attention (for example, one-on-one conversations) and a chance to lead projects or task forces, could be no less or even more effective motivators than the three highest-rated financial incentives: cash bonuses, increased base salaries, and stock or stock options. These non-financial motivators play critical roles in making employees feel that their companies value them, take their well-being seriously and strive to create opportunities for career growth. Moreover, these themes recur constantly in most studies on ways to motivate and engage employees. Your staff members must feel rewarded, recognized and appreciated.

 

It is evident that recently morale has fallen in most offices at a time when businesses need engaged leaders and other employees willing to go above and beyond expectations. All companies will face the challenge of retaining talented people as demoralising layoffs increased fear and tend to increase voluntary leaving over the medium term. The biggest problem for companies is: top performers are the first to go.

 

In times that cash is scarce companies need to make more use of cost-effective non-financial motivators. We have to challenge the traditional managerial wisdom: ‘money is what really counts.’ Non-financial ways to motivate people do require more time and commitment from Senior Managers, who are very busy finding clients that pay for their offer. However, there is no excuse to “hide” in the office anymore. Managers need to act more actively to retain their best employees. One-on-one meetings, as well as team leader meetings, between staff and leaders are hugely motivational.  The knife could cut on both sides when Managers are using these meetings to train their staff, especially in taking over part of the responsibility to win new business and/or new consumers. We have seen many companies vulnerable being dependent or just a few business winners within their teams. In other words, these business winners have to be retained within the company and been given the responsibility to train-up the rest of the staff in more pro-active commercial skills.

 

This is also the time to sit down with your key staff and ask them what motivates them and discuss how the company can provide the ideal environment to perform. Managers have to take this initiative because they do in many cases not know what is important, as they simply never asked the question. When you know the motivators of your staff and Managers you can act on it. The real motivator for an employee to leave his/her company might finally come out of an exit interview performed by the HR manager but unfortunately at that stage the employee has already left the building.

 

Generally we expect that loyalty will be low among employees whose salaries and bonuses were frozen or decreased. Those affected will look to recover and possibly even the score as soon as possible. No individual is irreplaceable, but constant churn paralyses a business and stop its forward progression. Those who prevent talents from leaving will gain competitive advantage and beat their competition.

 

Take a look at your organization. Are you doing your best to retain your top talent? Pay attention to a good mix of financial and non-financial motivators to retain your desired employees and attract the best talent, too.

 

January 2010, Robert Groeneweg

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