Exclusive B21 Survey: Retention is a Top Priority, but Most Companies Aren't on Top of it

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Two new surveys from Business 21 Publishing show that although HR executives feel employee retention is a hot-button issue these days, they're not at all confident that they're doing what it takes to retain their valued employees.

Two new surveys from Business 21 Publishing show that although HR executives feel employee retention is a hot-button issue these days, they're not at all confident that they're doing what it takes to retain their valued employees.

In the first survey, 78% said retention was at or near the top of their priority list. Only 5% said it wasn't. But our second survey suggests that only 20% of companies are taking proactive measures to ensure that their best people stick around.

A few years ago Hay Group published an article called "The Retention Dilemma" that provided a great framework for developing a retention plan. The gist of it was that people stay at companies because they believe:

1. They're using their skills and abilities to the max. Make's sense, doesn't it? For any good employee, nothing could be more maddening than having skills that aren't being tapped by your company. Smart companies find out what people are good at and give them a chance to make a difference. Bottom line: that's what people want to do. If your employees don't feel they can deploy their talents to improve the success of your company, they'll leave.

2. They believe in top management. Mediocre performers probably don't care much about how good management is. But good performers lose all faith in their company when it tolerates lousy managers. And when they lose faith, they leave immediately. Action step: Find out if you have weak links on your management team and replace them immediately.

As usual, higher pay was near the bottom of the list of things that make people stay in their jobs.

Click here to read the full survey results.

Read the entire Hay Group article on employee retention.

B21 will conduct an 90-minute audio conference on employee retention next week on Thursday, June 22. It's called, "A Seven Step Plan for Retaining Your Best Employees." We were fortunate enough to land a great speaker, Chason Hecht, founder of Retensa, a New-York-based firm dedicated to addressing the impact of employee turnover and showing companies how to prevent it.

Bonus article: Here's an article about retaining employees called "How to capitalize on ‘serial loyalty.’ " It's got some great ideas about how companies can prevent employee attrition.

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Stephen Meyer
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