Last year, over a quarter of the U.S. workers have quit their job—the highest quit rate since the turn of the century. Meanwhile, recruitment expenses continue to climb, with companies spending an average of $4,000 and 52 days to fill an open position. Yet, these costs pale in comparison to those of employee replacement, which studies suggest can cost up to twice an employee’s salary. The result is a decimating financial hit on enterprises, looking at these figures across large organizations.
Employee turnover also carries non-financial impacts. Frequent departures hurt morale, productivity, and engagement. This can start a vicious cycle whereby employee churn depresses company culture, which in turn compels others to leave, repeating the entire process all while productivity and output fall.
With the pace of innovation accelerating and unemployment rates at all-time lows, highly skilled workers have more leverage than ever. To remain competitive, companies must cultivate strong cultures that attract, retain, and grow talent. Savvy organizations have to go beyond making employee retention a priority—they need to enact organizational change and should look to new and emerging employee engagement and career development software to do so. Improving company culture, incentivizing horizontal career growth, and enabling open access to information can all work together to bolster retention plans and foster loyalty, while actually boosting workforce know-how.
Cultivate Company Culture with Smart Surveys
In 2018, The Culture Economy Report found that 34 percent of British employees quit their jobs due to dissatisfaction with their company’s culture. Even though company culture is so vital to maximizing and retaining top employees, aloof upper management can miss the signs of a culture in decline. The first step to creating and maintaining robust company culture is to have your finger on the pulse of the workplace.
To that end, aptly titled pulse surveys are a new form of agile, flexible employee feedback forms that leverage technology to gauge overall engagement and morale. These surveys are designed to be done weekly and to offer insight into company health via first-hand employee responses. Leading companies like Apple, Etsy, Airbnb, and Amazon have all seen tremendous boosts in employee engagement from conducting such surveys.
There are many options for implementing pulse surveys in a smart, streamlined way. CultureIQ uses email to create short-form surveys employees can respond to directly from their inbox. Not only is the system set up to gather employee feedback, but it turns this data into informative insights. And to ensure open, honest feedback, all responses can by anonymized. Peakon is another leading platform that goes one step further by offering multiple platform integrations and using previous data to intelligently assign employees questions most relevant to them.
Personalized Platforms to Foster Ongoing Growth
Measuring employee engagement is meaningless without being able to actually engage them once a problem is detected. According to Gallup’s latest State of the Global Workplace survey, 85 percent of employees are not engaged at work. This number is staggering, especially considering the substantial negative impact low employee engagement can have on a business’s overall performance. A March 2019 report from Oxford’s Saïd Business School presented a compelling link between employee satisfaction and a firm’s productivity and financial outcomes. Morale on the front line has a direct effect on a business’s bottom line.
Putting the resources in place to enable and incentivize horizontal career growth will keep employees happy and engaged, giving them good reason to grow within your organization instead of seeking opportunities elsewhere. This is especially true for Millennial and Gen Z employees. Deloitte found that 44% of Gen Zers ranked “opportunities for continuing learning” as a very important component when choosing whether to work for a company or not. Seeing as Millennials comprise a majority of the workforce, keeping this cohort happy is a crucial ingredient to bolstering retention.
Utilizing digital solutions that leverage Artificial Intelligence to encourage employee growth by providing smart recommendations on a person’s next career step take employee access to career growth opportunities to the next level. These systems seamlessly match employees with internal opportunities tailored to their own ideal growth trajectory taking into account their unique skills and professional experience. Unilever, for example, is utilizing AI with their Flex Program centered around a digital internal talent marketplace that suggests employees shift to a new position or join a specific part-time project– all of which encourages employees to grow within their roles and develop professionally within the organization.
Cloud-Based Systems to Empower Employees
The relationship between employee satisfaction and productivity also works in reverse. Studies show that increased productivity can improve employee retention. Going beyond perks and token gestures—and creating a culture of empowerment and empathy—offers the straightest path to reaping both financial and emotional rewards. Implementing the latest Cloud-based systems can drive engagement and increase productivity simultaneously. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Human Capital Management (HCM), and Learning Management Systems (LMS) are all examples of Cloud-based systems which drive engagement and increase productivity and enable employees to work and grow at their own speed.
Workday is an HCM that specifically focuses on maximizing human capital by facilitating worker lifecycle management. Workday’s Cloud-based platform is accessible through any internet-connected device, which streamlines the experience for administrators and users alike. This integrated system allows managers to respond to changes on the fly and seamlessly glean insights from across the organization. Cornerstone, on the other hand, is an example of an online LMS which allows employees to access educational information on any device, at any time. Cloud-based LMS systems provide employees on-demand educational content.
Greater access can empower employees to grow within the company and develop new skills. Airbnb’s in-house LMS, Degreed offers an excellent case study in the potential impact of a well-executed LMS. Within the first year of launching Degreed, Airbnb employees consumed over 25,000 pieces of educational content, which translated into immediate positive results among worker skill sets and productivity.
The nature of work is changing and so are employee expectations. With new technologies transforming the overall economy, it’s only reasonable to assume these changes will also affect the way companies are run. Using the emerging generation of innovative digital solutions highlighted above, business leaders can better manage and cultivate sustained potential from their employees. Investing in human capital becomes much more viable when employee retention is taken care of and the today’s HR software makes employee retention far easier than ever before.
Crucially, the emergence of these technologies will substantially help businesses’ bottom lines and provide tremendous growth opportunities for both individual employees and businesses as a whole. With employee motivation turbo-charged through an expansion of their horizons, a positive work environment, and a real sense of dedication to enhancing their capabilities, the workplace of tomorrow is poised to be more efficient and happier than ever before.