Employee Retention Trumps Replacement
Getting the right employees through the door is only half the battle when it comes to human resources management, the real task is making sure you can keep them. Having a high employee turnover rate is a pain. One way of avoiding it is by ensuring your hiring processes are as iron clad as possible, which recruitment experts like Lorimak Africa (a Baker Tilly network member) can help with. However, if the internal workings of your company are not meeting employee needs then you will likely have to consistently deal with the costs in time and money, decreased morale and reputational damage that come with high turnover rates. Employees voluntarily leaving your organisation can be due to a number of factors, some beyond your control like people choosing to pursue different life paths, but others are driven by you and your team collectively as the employer; these are the factors we are going to discuss.
One driver of high turnover rates is lack of growth and development opportunities. Due to high unemployment rates in many countries in Africa, employers seem to think a pay cheque alone is motivation enough to retain talent. To some extent this is true, particularly given the global economic situation, but although money is one of the biggest pull factors it is not the only thing that matters to employees. If financial compensation is your only value proposition to your personnel then do not expect much loyalty from them; if an offer of equal or slightly higher value is put on the table they will likely jump ship. Employees need enrichment and want to feel that they are progressing forward and upwards. If being on your team feels like a dead end job they may be constantly looking for opportunities in other places.
Another factor that can send employees running is over working them. Especially since the onset of the pandemic, companies want to keep costs low and one way of doing so is by using existing resources as much as possible. To a degree, this is sound business reasoning but when employees end up feeling overworked because too many additional responsibilities being thrown on them, it can be extremely demoralising. Never forget that your employees are not machines, they are humans who require a healthy work-life balance in order to be happy; and happy employees are productive employees.
So let us say you have managed to strike the right balance in hiring the right people, giving them opportunities to advance and not overloading them, that is fantastic, however, it does not stop there. Good employers also ensure that employees are adequately recognised for their efforts. Recognition can come in many forms such as a promotion, pay raise or just a publicly announced commendation. Rewarding your employees, even with non-financial rewards, reassures people that their efforts are not in vain and that they are making a meaningful contribution to the organisation, which can in turn boost morale, encourage workers to go above and beyond, and drive ideas and innovation.
Overall, everything mentioned above could be summed in four words – invest in your employees. HR management is about more than just hiring the right people, it is about making sure that once they are hired they stay. As Lorimak Africa we do our part to get the right person through the door who is a good job and culture fit (read our blog on Recruitment – Beyond the CV to learn more about why culture fit is important), but ensuring they stay entails conscious and deliberate daily effort on the part of your team. Your employees are your biggest asset and, yes, this statement is very overused but the reason it is used so much is because it is true.