Four steps to increasing employee tenure

A longer tenure is a desirable quality to have as it considerably makes the employee trustworthy and credible

Updated: Jul 5, 2019 09:39:36 AM UTC
Image: Shutterstock
Image: Shutterstock

The days have gone when people would stay at one job through their entire career. Global studies and research show that the median number of years that wage and salary workers have worked for their current employer is currently 4.6 years.

It is a known fact that organisations, employees and customers are the ones who benefit from lengthy employee tenure; however, employees change jobs periodically to overcome boredom, stress, monotony and unfavourable working conditions.

A longer tenure is a desirable quality to have, as it considerably makes the employee trustworthy and credible. On the other hand, people with short employee tenures learn more and have a diverse experience. Both scenarios have their benefits for the organisation and their challenges that needs to be addressed to keep them motivated and engaged.

It is certain that HR leaders cannot go to each employee and work on a solution to help him or her to increase his tenure. It could be customised and personalised, but it is difficult to build effectiveness to the power of one.

The below four points are overarching as they impact an employee’s tenure and can be made relevant to each employee, apart from the specific things such as salary structures and competitive benchmarking.

1. Celebrate positive experiences
Employees remember experiences that are either negative or positive, and sometimes, not necessarily everything they have experienced in an organisation. What experiences do you remember from 10 years ago or at some company you worked with?

Organisations need to have a way for each manager to analyse if their teams have been made to feel special by asking:

  • Did you celebrate their birthday?
  • Did you recognise their great work?
  • Did they get a surprise bonus?
  • Did the employee engage in activities with colleagues?
  • Does the employee have a close friend or buddy in the company?

Organisations should make a process that these questions get answered or the leader ponders over for his or her team members.

2. Balance talent magnets
With Gen-Z and millennials, it has become clear that with a cross-generational workforce, the way we can align them and build productivity is by having them be part of a larger purpose. Employees love to be a part of a larger objective or achievement. The company should define their reason for existence and impact they want to make in the world. Similarly, it is important for companies to focus on leaders leading by example or showcasing the company’s success or valuing employees, and that great work and performance matters. This will allow the employee to feel a part of a bigger goal and also a part of a team and. In context, each talent magnet should be thought of as an influence in defining the culture of the organisation wants to stand for. Culture will help build the glue and stickiness for employees to continue and build careers within the same organisation.

3. Know what makes each team member thrive
As an organisation, we will prioritise and focus on each magnet depending on the need of the company. As an organisation’s initiative for this year, there may be communication and a priority to make wellbeing as a daily habit and a way of life. However, for a few employees, it may be opportunity that seems to make them thrive at work. Hence, it is important for leaders and managers to know each team member and understand what makes them thrive.

Each manager and leader should be trained to keep the organisation strategy and initiatives aligned, while we continue to nurture and support the individual team member’s objectives.

4. Be competitive and strive to be a great place to work
Needless to say, the employer should offer a competitive opportunity and benefits in the marketplace. Be it salaries, benefits, HR policies, and so on, they should all be competitive. Organisations should strive to be a great place to work. Similarly, the organisation should support causes, assisting the purpose or vision and doing a bit back for society. These efforts and improvements show the genuine effort that organisations are making to support employees and incorporate things that employees appreciate.

The author is Managing Director at O.C. Tanner.

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