“Workers have been forced to take more responsibility for their own careers, going where the work is rewarding and where they can develop skills that will guarantee their employability, in whatever organization (Hall and Associates,1996). Talented workers have more choices than ever before, and are likely to leave if not satisfied with their employer or job content. As employees have become more likely to leave unrewarding jobs, the impact of loosing individuals has become greater. In the future, the biggest gains will come from systematically improving an organization’s intrinsic reward process—making the work itself so fulfilling and energizing that employees themselves won’t want to leave. Rediscovering the role of purpose in work is key to understanding the new work and the motivation of today’s employees. Organizations now find themselves competing to attract and retain workers on the basis of the meaningfulness of their jobs.”
One of my daughter’s favorite points is that organizations have a problem trying to attract millennials to work for them. Meaningful work is probably a large part of the answer.
The transparency and shared responsibility that are necessary inside a data driven organization go a long way to making all employees enjoy their work.
“The purpose of career planning as part of an employee development program is not only to help employees feel like their employers are investing in them, but also help people manage the many aspects of their lives and deal with the fact that there is not a clear promotion track. Employers can no longer promise job security, but they can help people maintain the skills they need to remain viable in the job market”
If your organization develops a reputation for boosting the careers of the people that work there it will be able to attract more capable and creative employees. You should be glad to recommend past employees for more advanced positions than you can offer them and confident that you have younger employees coming up behind them that are rapidly gaining the skills you need.
“Training is a key retention factor for employees at any age. Statistical evidence indicates jobtraining is a critical factor for personal (behavioral) and professional (technical) development (United StatesDepartment of Labor, 2009). The availability for all employees having access to training and developmentprograms is critical in facilitating organizationalgrowth,particularly with performance and technologicalimprovements (Boomer Authority,2009). Research supports that both the organizational benefits and costsavings associated with training programs outweigh the initial cost it incurs (Prenda & Stahl,2001). Eisen(2005) states that training programs available to all employees correlate with a 70% increase in employee retention rates. Research indicates training methods that engage workers with career challenges,advancement opportunities, work incentives,competitive wages/benefits,and supportive work environments are effective retention strategies for employees of any age (Eisen, 2005). Evidence supports the conclusionthat access to regular training programs enhances growth,prosperity, and retention for both employees and employers (Amble,2006). Research provided by Berryman & Vaughan (1989) and McIntosh (2001) indicate a relationship between enhanced training foundations (competencies,efficiencies, and intelligence) and advanced development of best practices,cross training, mentoring,and technology changes for all employees.Training benefits (tangible or intangible) correlate with higher levels of consistency,competency,productivity, adaptability, independence, and loyalty in employees at any age (Agrela,et al.,2008; Boomer Authority,2009; Yazinski,2009)”
If your organization operates as if employees already have all the skills they need when they are hired, then it will be limiting itself to using an old and common toolset.
If your organization supports its employees in their constant retraining it will be able to take advantage of new possibilities. It will also grow the skills of its employees and increase the chances of their staying around.
“Since learning and development opportunities appear crucial for the retention of talented employees (Arnold, 2005; Hytter, 2007; Walker, 2001), an organization must establish a supportive learning and working climate. The concept “learning and working climate” is derived from previous research (Abrams et al., 2008 etc). In general it refers to the environment wherein employees both learn and work.”
The current environment is one of constant change and new applications and technologies that an organization needs to master. So, of necessity, the employees will be learning while they work. The question is whether the organization can acknowledge this and give them support for their learning.
“Providing skill recognition of personal job accomplishments is an effective retention strategy for employees at any age (Yazinski, 2009). Studies indicate fulfilling peoples need for acceptance by acknowledging individual work accomplishments prolongs employment of employees (Redington, 2007). A Study by Yazinski (2009) show trends of an increased number of job applicants seeking out companies that encourage employee input, growth, education, and teamwork, beyond the traditional compensation/benefit”
In order to work effectively employees must acquire a lot of background knowledge about the organization and when they leave all that knowledge walks out the door with them. The cost to the organization can be large and is largely unrecognized.
The good news is that the things that encourage employees “input, growth, education, and teamwork” are also very good for the organization. The benefit of making your organization a good place to work is not in doubt, but admitting that the organization depends on its employees and cannot treat them like replaceable parts is often very hard.