Internal Retention? It's Easy If You Do It Right

Economically, the United States is reaching a record high in the job market. There are currently 1.6 million more jobs open than people unemployed, so why are staffing firms experiencing such an increase in internal turnover? According to the American Staffing Association’s (ASA) second-quarter webinar update, staffing industry sectors are still shrinking significantly. This is due to the growing skills gap with unqualified professionals, turnover, and lack of care for internal relationships. In this time of economic growth, it is more important now than ever to focus on internal employee retention rates.

Internal turnover and how to avoid it

Do your employees hate their job? Do they respect you and your company? Are you building an environment that encourages growth? These are all questions that should be asked when bringing a new employee onboard.

Say no to internal turnover - Internal Retention? It's Easy If You Do It Right.

According to Richard Wahlquist, President and CEO of ASA, 13% of the American workforce is “actively disengaged” with their job and are miserable at work. And according to Gallup, 53% of workers are “not engaged”. This means that they… “may be generally satisfied but are not cognitively and emotionally connected to their work and workplace; they will usually show up to work and do the minimum required but will quickly leave their company for a slightly better offer.” Our goal is to have as reduce the amount of actively disengaged and not engaged employees as much as possible!

Here are a few tips on how to boost company morale and maintain internal retention:

1. End the dreaded skills gap

A major proponent to the lack of growth in staffing industry sectors is due to the skills gap with under qualified professionals. Major companies are missing the mark when it comes to providing sufficient training. New hires and seasoned professionals alike are seeing a lack of communication bringing down their ability to perform. Six out of 10 Americans cite employers shortcomings in training as responsible for the skills gap.

Food for thought:

  1. 69% of companies fail to provide sufficient training to new hires.
  2. 63% of companies do not offer apprenticeship programs.
  3. 61% of companies do not communicate expectations to employees.
  4. 58% of companies set unrealistic expectations of a candidate’s skill set without offering proper training.

So, what are some ways to avoid these internal downfalls? Studies show that 67% of employees are interested in cross-training. Cross-training employees between different departments will help break up the everyday monotony of work, while also providing a broader skill set overall. Be sure to also provide professional certifications in their field of work, and encourage professional growth. By doing this boosts retention and company morale.

Next, communicate company expectations to employees and set attainable goals. These small changes will shrink the skill gap. By training employees, they will be more likely to stay on the job. In fact, roughly 60% of employees agreed they would perform more effectively in their position if their companies trained them correctly and with purpose.

2. Maintain a healthy company culture

Think of your company as a flower. In order to flourish, it needs a healthy ecosystem. But creating a flourishing work environment is not as simple as watering a houseplant once a week and making sure it has the right amount of sunlight. Focus on morale, comradery, and an overall solid foundation of company goals.  Remember, growth starts at the roots.

Internal Retention? It's Easy If You Do It Right.

Internal staff should feel as if they’re all players on the same team. Matt Sharples, CEO, and owner of TriCom Tech Services suggests breaking down barriers in the office. This encourages not only an open playing field for every team member, but it helps employees feel that even the tiniest contribution they make can be celebrated. While titles are important, make sure they are not keeping departments separate from each other and ultimately keeping communication stagnant. In order to access a fresh internal point of view, create an environment where every department is equally accessible.

After creating a healthy office culture, what needs to be done in order to not only attract, but also keep strong, engaged internal employees? The answer is by prioritizing the employee’s themselves. It’s not surprising that 49% of employees value their ability to spend time away from work, so get creative. Offer Friday’s off, encourage schedule flexibility, and promote wage potential – anything that shows company values.

Final thoughts…

There is currently a 35% internal staff turnover in the staffing industry. That means that within 3 years at the same job, you might not be working with any of the same people that were there when you started. While turnover may be an unavoidable part of the job, it is important to shift the internal staffing mindset. Positive reinforcement is an impactful way to create highly skilled, motivated and loyal employees. The key to keeping up with turnover is to not fight it. Instead, create a workplace that not only celebrates employees but also builds them.

In case you missed it, check out the ASA’s second-quarter webinar update for more information on internal retention.

Not covered in the blog is Stephen Dwyer’s (General Counsel, ASA) discourse on account managers and recruiters exemption status for overtime. We will be discussing this in a separate blog.