The Year of Retention
Retention seems to be a popular word this year. HR leaders across all levels of government are in a state of worry. Attract and retain… Attract and retain… This is the mantra by which public sector employers are living and breathing. So what’s all the fuss about?
As more employees are reaching retirement age, they know a plethora of knowledge will be walking out the door with each employee. So governments are deep in succession planning and strategizing to address this. But it’s also made many acutely aware that they need to figure out ways to retain this new generation of employees who are filling in these gaps. With pensions in the condition they are and pay often lower than the private sector, what’s the draw to make them want to stay?
Regardless of the generation, people still believe in making a difference. Whether it’s for their community or to make a difference in peoples lives, public service tends to draw people in. But it doesn’t necessarily make them want to stay. Employees want to be recognized for a job well done and offered opportunities to advance their careers. They want to be part of decision making and know their voice is being heard.
According to an article written by Neil Reichenburg of IPMA-HR, Getting the Right People, employee engagement matters. “Engaged employees are five times more likely to be very satisfied, five times more likely to recommend their place of employment to others, and four times less likely to leave.”
Engagement is not a one-size fits all; we are all individuals. What motivates one person, might not motivate the next. As managers and leaders address the reality of what retention means to their organization, they will discover there are multiple paths to create an environment employees can thrive in. And maybe, the employees who came into the public sector for the right reasons will want to stay a little while longer.