Workforce Retention a Growing Focus in HR

January 9, 2006 ( - Seventy percent of HR managers feel worker retention is a primary concern, according to a new Monster study.

In addition, according to Monster’s announcement of the release of its study, “Retention Strategies for 2006 and Beyond”, 40% of HR managers surveyed said turnover has increased in the past 12 months, and 55% expect workforce retention to be a high or very high challenge for their firms in the next five years.

“Our study reveals that recruiters and hiring managers are not only cognizant of the retention issue, but are concerned about its current and future impact on organizational growth,” said Dr. Jesse Harriott, Vice President of Research at Monster, in the announcement.

Finding that 69% of respondents say their firm uses employee satisfaction surveys, it seems that employers understand that monitoring employee attitudes is an important step in retaining good workers. However, Monster also found that most of the satisfaction surveys are conducted as an ad-hoc process and only 32% report making personnel and workplace changes as a result of the findings.

Monster’s study found that only 27% of firms always use onboard interviews as a technique to gauge new hire satisfaction while 48% of firms always use exit interviews. Monster points out that placing greater emphasis on new hires, rather than departing employees, could aid in the retention process.

Other retention strategies mentioned by survey respondents included:

  • Make supervisors more accountable for worker retention by tying compensation to turnover metrics.
  • Create an environment that promotes work/life balance by instituting policies that encourage and support a satisfying personal life.
  • Pursue succession planning to enable a workplace where employee expectations are clearly articulated. Additionally, offer learning and development programs that groom employees for future management roles, not just one specific job.
  • Build performance-based HR systems to identify and proactively manage top percentile employees. When possible, promote from within.
  • Develop a mentoring program that matches new employees with seasoned veterans.
  • Use tools to continuously and frequently monitor sentiment throughout the employee lifecycle. Exit interview information should be distributed to senior management in an effort to drive organizational change.
  • Create an employment brand “experience” that not only motivates and energizes employees, but can be used to attract new talent.

Monster’s study as well as a separate report sponsored by Monster and released by Aberdeen Group titled “Retaining Talent: Retention and Succession in the Corporate Workforce,” can be found here .