According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), companies spend $1.53 billion dollars annually trying to improve employee retention. What's worse, it's not generating the desired results: employee engagement numbers remain dismal, with less than a third of employees delivering top results for engagement. Retention planning often focuses on star individual contributors as well as mainstreaming efforts for core employees. Yet there's one particularly vulnerable segment you should consider: your company's leadership. Not only are leaders essential to profits and business growth, executive attrition can also be expensive and disruptive.
Retaining Leadership: A Strategic HCM Priority
Talent management should be an important piece of your human capital management strategy (HCM). When companies understand why leadership is an essential part of their growth strategy, it's easier to allocate the time and resources to make it happen. As a strategic HCM priority, a concrete plan can be put in place to get the assessments, tools, and support needed to help retain your leaders.
Invest in Understanding Your Leaders
While your leaders set the strategy for your organization, you also need a strategy for getting the most from your leaders. Do you understand their strengths, weaknesses, goals, and aspirations? One study in the Harvard Business Review found that 1 in 5 leaders felt their personal aspirations differed from what the company had planned for their career trajectory. Unsurprisingly, the same study revealed that just one-third of employees gave their jobs their best effort and 25 percent expected to be at a new employer within a year. The takeaway is that it's critical to have a foundational understanding of your leaders' goals and an engagement program that can help you quantify their satisfaction. Assessments, ongoing conversations with HR, and establishing mentor relationships are all tactics that may help you understand your company's leaders.
HR Technology: Less Time on Administration, More Time on Culture
As with many job candidates, one of the questions leaders ask themselves when applying for a position is whether the company culture is the right fit for their personality, preferences, and skills. During the recruiting phase, executives and aspiring leaders should be evaluated for job-related cultural fit, and they should have clear communications with HR about the company's culture and expectations. One way to help streamline that process is through some of the latest HR technology solutions. These may help your HR team spend less time on routine administrative matters so they can focus on helping recruits, especially executive recruits, thoroughly understand the company and its culture.
Access Engagement Data About Your Plans
The use of HR software can also help companies collect data on current engagement levels to use as a benchmark. Over time, your HR department can implement data gathering strategies to determine if your engagement and leadership retention strategies are working. Better data can often help lead to better decision making and positive outcomes. HR technology allows managers to access that information quickly and easily.
Recruiting and retaining your company's leaders requires taking a proactive approach to retention issues. From engaging your leaders in ongoing discussions to using HR technology and data to forecast retention, it's possible to reduce attrition and keep your star performers focused on a long, productive career with your company.