The topic of the week was how to keep employees. At a CEO Roundtable meeting this week a business owner admitted that hiring an admin person would make her much more efficient, but she hesitated to do so because she couldn’t afford to pay much. She said, “I can only afford to pay $10 to $12 an hour; I don’t want get someone trained in only to have them leave for a nickel an hour more.” This owner assumed that money was the number one reason people stayed on a job. She was so wrong.
The American Psychological Association commissioned a study what contained revealing insights into why people stay on jobs.
• I enjoy the work I do (67%)
• My job fits well with other areas of my life (67%)
• The benefits (60%)
• The pay (59%)
• I feel connected to the organization (56%)
• My co-workers (51%)
• My job gives me the opportunity to make a difference (51%)• My manager (40%)
• There aren’t any other job opportunities for me (39%)
In other words, pay was fourth on the list of why people stay on jobs.
Instead of spending time putting together an employee retention program, how about working on job enrichment?
The key is improving attitudes about work itself, supervisor competence, work group cooperation, consistency in treatment, feedback about performance, opportunities to get ahead and other positive aspects that relate to work context. It might even include the ability to bring a pet to work. Other ways to enrich jobs do include pay, benefits, environmental aspects, and attendance rules.
What does your job entail? Write a complete job description itemizing the tasks and expectations of the position. As you interview, find out what applicants want in a job. Some people prefer a variety of tasks and others prefer routine. Some want a participative management style and others just want to be told what to do and don’t ask them to make decisions! Some will seek promotion and some prefer to stay where they are.
The opportunity to make a difference was cited by 51% of people surveyed. When is the last time your company sponsored a Habitat for Humanity team or worked at a soup kitchen or contributed time to Feed My Starving Children? A company can build a spirit of community among employees around a mission or charity they believe in.
The point is money is number 4; focus your time and energy finding an employee who shares your core values, is looking for the type of opportunity you offer and enjoys working with you and you will have a satisfied employee who will stay and happily contribute to your success.
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“On the Plains of Hesitation bleach the bones of countless millions who, at the Dawn of Victory, sat down to wait, and waiting – died!”
~ George W. Cecil