Eventually that is.
Because the truth is that eventually we all leave either voluntarily or involuntarily. Whether it’s being fired Trump style, moving cities because your spouse got a better gig, leaving for the competition, or retiring — we all leave.
So when it comes to retention the real question we should be asking is, “How long can I reasonably keep around employees that are accretive to our operating goals?” So, let’s break that sentence down into it’s key elements.
1. We have a “reasonable timeframe” that we are trying to establish. This can vary by employee segment, position, etc. This can be based on the data you have at hand and how in depth you want to segment and track employees and retention goals.
2. We’re not trying to retain everyone. We are specifically trying to keep around employees that we feel are “accretive” to the company. In many cases this means most of the workforce but when we begin to combine employee feedback data with performance data we begin to illuminate some interesting classifications within our retention framework.
3. We are mapping retention to operational goals. Do you have a problem with sales that translates into an issue retaining quality Sales people? Is your office in London a revolving door? Set goals and track them over time. Also, if you have a high quality workforce retention software solution it will learn over time with you and provide insights that make workforce planning that much easier.
Utilizing a system that tells you what is changing in relation to your workforce and your goals is critical in understanding not only where you are at but where you are headed. If you have 30k employees and a single Employee Relations employee can you really know what is going on in your remote locations at any given time? It requires a system that allows you to drilldown in real-time and see the players involved and what is happening. In this way you can utilize the goals and macro trends to feed strategy while also being aware of the brush fires kicking up in the workforce before they become infernos.
At the end of the day everyone is leaving — but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get smarter in understanding why and delaying the when for the right people.