Employee retention can be a headache for line managers. Without a doubt, managers do not want to receive resignations from employees, given that good staff are always needed and there is often difficulty in getting approval from upper management to hire replacements in today’s competitive business environment. The current COVID-19 situation has heightened the importance and necessity of employee retention.
The pandemic has admittedly broken many firms and caused hardship to countless workers globally. Firms are therefore under pressure to let employees go to cut costs and survive. But here is a vital perspective: when the situation improves – and it will, employees will be needed to restart operations. Furthermore, remaining staff and potential future hires will think about whether an employer who threw its people under the bus during troubled times is worthy of their loyalty or consideration.
Top Reasons Why Employees Leave Companies
COVID-19 aside, employees resign for many reasons. They find what they perceive to be a better job opportunity, decide to go back to school, or they simply retire. Some look to follow a spouse who has been transferred to a different city while others quit over work-related or personal issues. Other contributing factors include low organisational commitment and job satisfaction, quality of the employee-supervisor relationship, clarity of job roles and job design, and workgroup cohesion.
LinkedIn data from 2017 showed a worldwide turnover rate of 10.9 percent, with the fast-growing technology sector registering a 13.2 percent turnover rate. A report in entrepreneur.com in April 2020 quoted survey results from Radford Global Technology that highlight employee churn as a continuous and ongoing issue. According to the survey, between April and June 2019, technology companies in Singapore suffered voluntary turnover of 14.7 percent, the second-highest rate in Asia, exceeded only by Malaysia’s 15.3 percent.
These numbers behove enterprises in the current business environment to anticipate impending shortages of overall talent, and to proactively address existing or future shortfalls in the specialised competencies that they need to stay ahead. Employers that systematically manage employee retention in good times and in bad will always stand a greater chance of weathering such issues.
Reducing employee turnover rates is therefore good for businesses. Turnovers are costly because they lead to a loss in institutional knowledge, which could in turn affect customer retention and business performance. As the availability of skilled employees continues to decrease, it may become increasingly difficult to retain highly sought-after employees.
How Software Can Help Managers and HR Leaders Prevent Employee Churn
Human capital management software and human experience management software can bolster HR leaders’ ability to better oversee and handle employee retention. For small- and medium-sized businesses with only one to two HR executives, the software will be a big help.
AI and machine learning technologies embedded in these software solutions will identify trends in workforce behaviour and satisfaction, allowing HR leaders to improve key metrics around hiring and design interventions with the dissatisfied to aid employee retention, all while providing the insights needed to build a higher quality talent pool.
It is not uncommon for employees to resist automation as they fear that technologies will eliminate their jobs. There is a huge silver lining that few business leaders communicate to their staff, that is, many new jobs will be created because of technology. Tasks will evolve and employees’ capabilities will be augmented by technology. New positions will emerge, and existing roles redefined.
With human capital management software, HR leaders can better manage talent throughout their employment lifecycle. AI and machine learning technologies, for instance, can reduce the risk of unconscious bias during the recruitment processes by obscuring irrelevant personal information and only giving hiring managers the information necessary for the position being filled. These technologies also offer additional insights that improve the quality of new employees, increase the quality of the talent pool, and reduce time to hire.
AI infused into human capital management software is a big aid in pinpointing suitable individuals within large talent pools. The technology is also able to identify matches more effectively for promotions and internal job opportunities from within the company’s existing workforce by predicting a candidate’s innate ability to perform a particular skill or succeed in a specific role. The result could be better opportunities for existing talent to advance and the corresponding opportunity to reduce both turnover rates and cost to hire.
Hiring the best candidate with the right skills, outlook and capability will go a long way toward ensuring employee retention.
Human experience management software enables HR leaders to take this a step further. Such software uses data analytics to improve employers’ understanding of employee sentiment, ideas and needs. Armed with the information, employers can craft suitable employee engagement and personalisation programmes.
From business leaders’ perspectives, the software helps them create positive employee experiences, particularly for moments that matter – such as their staff’s work anniversaries and career milestones.
For the employees, they have “control”, in the sense that they can handle HR matters like leave and training applications without having to engage their managers. Their “control” is the self-service dashboard that they access on their devices at any time and at any place. Amongst other things, the dashboard also allows them to conveniently check salary payment status, the full range of benefits that they are entitled to, and information related to their performance appraisals.
By monitoring employees’ use of the software’s dashboards, HR leaders can maximise relevance for employees by adjusting its panels to give them the content that they like. In turn, this enables the software’s recommendation engine to deliver best-fit information and even learning options that match each employee’s preferences.
Altogether, talent management software creates for the employee an environment where they feel a sense of belonging and job satisfaction, thus addressing the key issues of poor employee dissatisfaction, organisational commitment, role clarity and job design, which often push employees out the door.
Integrating Human Capital Management and Human Experience Management
SAP SuccessFactors, for example, is both a human talent management software and a human experience management software. Its solutions cover the entire lifecycle of an employee, meaning HR managers and business leaders can oversee integrated, end-to-end talent management programmes. This provides them with the tools needed to maintain information on performance and goals, compensation, recruiting, onboarding, learning, and succession planning and development. Managing talent carefully with the right metrics can strengthen employee retention.
The software also provides a system of engagement that aligns with the modern workforces’ expectations of intuitive, consumer-simple user interface and user experience. More employees today expect self-service and personalised dashboards where they can keep track of their own well-being. SuccessFactors, for example, can be used to track health and wellness assessments, information, and activities to help them stay healthy.
Through the software, line managers also have a direct channel of communication with employees and can get regular feedback from polls that provide anonymised reports, allowing them to compare data across different groups within a firm and identify areas for potential improvement in management style.
Given that every employee is unique, a digital platform like SuccessFactors allows HR leaders to embark on transforming people management processes that were once “one-benefit-fits-all”, into an empowered framework suitable for a diverse and multigenerational workforce.
Using the software, employers can, for example, refresh the employee assessment and goal setting cycle. Employees now demand ongoing, continuous dialogue, rendering yesterday’s once-a-year performance rating system passé. A new performance management system, enabled by technology, has become an ongoing two-way dialogue between manager and employee. This is an important part of talent retention.
The Human Side of Employee Engagement Cannot Be Discounted
Human capital management software and human experience management software can help employers create an engaging and personalised experience for employees. In turn, employees are happier and more likely to remain with the organisation. This makes it crucial that employers use the software to revamp their HR operating models and deliver consumer-style experiences to their employees, which in turn drives talent retention.
Technology, however, is not the answer for every employee retention issue in today’s world of work. It is the pure human moments, such as opportunities for business leaders to show genuine care and empathy toward the person doing the work that is crucial. These acts of leadership cannot, and should not, be automated. The same goes for meaningful one-on-one conversations that go past performance-based discussions to learn how that individual feels their work contributes to both the company’s mission and bottom-line.
Ultimately, employers need to take ownership of digital workplace initiatives, but not discount the humanised element, if they are to succeed. These initiatives, executed as a series of technology rollouts, should also include employee engagement and addressing the associated cultural change. Digital workplace success is after all impossible without employer-employee collaboration.