By Claudine Kapel
Are you worried about losing key talent as the economy improves? If so, you’re not alone.
A recent survey by Human Resource Executive Online found that 61 per cent of respondents were concerned about losing talent as the recovery takes hold.
Does that mean it’s time to start shelling out big pay increases?
Although a review of compensation programs may be in order, it’s important to recognize there are a variety of factors that may prompt employees to look for another job. While paying more may encourage employees to stay longer, it won’t address a retention challenge caused by other issues. So before jumping to a pay solution, consider the overall employment experience offered by the organization. Are there gaps or issues that could be undermining your ability to retain talent?
Here are 10 questions to consider:
1) Do employees have opportunities to learn, grow and progress on the job?
2) Do employees have a positive relationship with their immediate managers or supervisors?
3) Is there a strong sense of team within and across work units?
4) Do employees understand – and have confidence in – the organization’s business strategy and direction?
5) Do employees enjoy their work?
6) Do they have the tools and support they need to do their jobs well?
7) Do employees feel they are respected?
8) Do they have opportunities to provide input and share ideas?
9) Do employees feel their work and contributions are valued and appreciated?
10) Are they optimistic about their future with the organization?
Of course, it is important to assess the role compensation plays in supporting the retention of key talent. So an additional question worth asking is: Are employees paid fairly and competitively?
On reviewing compensation programs, you may find the need to shore up base pay levels or boost bonus opportunities to keep pace with market trends.
And sometimes it can be tempting to use pay as the main lever for retaining staff. But aggressive counter-offers can become the norm whenever someone announces plans to leave.
The reality is more money won’t actually solve problems that exist within the overall employment experience. It won’t quell boredom or improve relations with the boss or co-workers. It won’t make performing well any easier. And, in the end, it won’t make the future any brighter.
Perhaps worse, employees who become over-compensated relative to market may become trapped in jobs they really should leave – for their own good and the good of the organization. In such cases, the organization may be using pay to retain individuals who are no longer truly engaged nor inspired to deliver their best.
So while compensation may be one of the levers for retaining key talent, it is not the silver bullet for retention woes.
Claudine Kapel is principal of Kapel and Associates Inc., a Toronto-based human resources and communications consulting firm specializing in the design and implementation of compensation and total rewards programs. For more information, visit www.kapelandassociates.com.