You found and on-boarded the right candidate to best fit your company culture and the job’s needs—another step in building a winning team—but how do you keep that team together? Today, the average tenure for an employee is only 4.7 years, a big change from days past when a good career could mean 30 years with the same employer.
Why the change? Are young workers simply unwilling to embrace company loyalty like the previous generation?
In fact, the opposite is true.
Sending the Wrong Signal
Consider your new hire’s first day on the job. They are welcomed to the company with enthusiasm and the employee reciprocates with expressing dedication to the company goals. They are then taken to the HR department where they sign documents acknowledging they are an “at will” employee and the company may fire them at any time. What a disconnect! This action causes dissidence between excitement to start their position and the reality that they can be jobless in a moment’s notice. This forces the employee to keep their eye on the job market, the company risks losing a good hire, and managers are caught in the middle, struggling to retain good talent.
Keeping Skilled Workers
What keeps skilled workers from jumping at the next opportunity or a dissatisfied employee from leaving without a chance to work on the issue? To explore, we take a look at LinkedIn’s successful strategy to keep their highly sought after employees. The software and IT industry is highly competitive, often leaving many more positions available than skilled workers to fill them. This, no doubt, sounds familiar. The Alliance Strategy, created by LinkedIn’s co-founder, Reid Hoffman, treats employees like allies on a tour of duty. A person’s employment is treated like an alliance between the company and its employees and includes a mutually beneficial deal. It outlines each party’s commitment to the other. The employee lends their skills and experience to the company, and the company invests in the employee’s career development.
This strategy counteracts the usual implications of being an “at will” employee and helps build trust. The employee instead agrees to meet some specific goal within the next one to three years that helps the company. In return, the company provides benefits and career development to help the employee reach their personal life goals. At the end of their “tour of duty” the employee is free to move to the next step in their career, even if it is with another company. However, more likely the employee feels valued in their organization and works with you to create new goals for their next “tour of duty.”
The Tours of Duty
The Alliance Strategy goes even further and breaks up these “tours” into three distinct concepts:
Rotational – Targets entry-level employees to build their baseline knowledge and helps them reach the goal of advancing to the next level in the company. For example, a sales trainee could move up to sales representative.
Foundational – Geared for more experienced employees with established careers as it strengthens their ties with the company by tying their personal goals with the objectives of the company.
Transformational – Recognizes talented employees with valued skills and provides them a project or goal improving their resume and enhancing their skill set while adding to the company’s success. At tour’s end, the employee and company have transformed to a higher level as a result of the agreement.
Each of these tours provide the employee with a specific goal in a realistic timeline. The employer then offers specific career benefits for the employee. The key is to be specific. This is the employer’s commitment to the employee and what they will provide in return.
This strategy may initially seem counterproductive when trying to develop personal and rewarding relationships with new employees, however, if done correctly, these agreements demonstrate your proven commitment to the success of your employees as well as your organization. Each completed tour of duty will build the trust that your employees are seeking.
This process might not be a fit for every organization, or for every position within an organization, but it can be a tool used when faced with high turnover and need to build stronger relationships within a team.
For more strategies for employee retention, contact the experts at Ag 1 Source today.