Addressing the Employee Turnover Challenge
One of the problems that organizations face is employee turnover, and this costs firms to hire and train replacement workers after such unexpected events. In addition to employee replacement costs, turnover can lead to loss of productivity, weakened work relations and loss of intellectual capital since employees are essential assets within a firm. Some of the factors that contribute to employees leaving a firm include low morale, unsatisfied needs, poor working environments, and other internal and external factors. Employee on-boarding is a strategic process that allows the human resource department to integrate new employees with a company and its culture; hence reducing unexpected cases of employee turnover in the future. The first experiences of employees within an organization define their retention. The concept of employee on boarding is trending in human resource, but not everybody understands how it works. Most companies, nonetheless, give a probation period to workers before permanently incorporating them. Employee on-boarding is a strategic process that human resource can use to impact the workforce and the effectiveness of its operations to improve its overall productivity and performance.
Employee on-boarding entails having new employees get accustomed to the expectations of their new duties more efficiently. The process enables employees to acquire knowledge and skills on how to perform their jobs. Furthermore, it helps them to learn attitudes and behaviours that will allow them to function effectively within the organization. The extent to which a firm welcomes and prepares its employees for their new jobs determines how they are more likely to contribute to the organization’s mission and ensure its success. The nature of the on-boarding process differs from one organization to the next depending on its policies. However, the primary role is to enable employees to get acquainted with their jobs. In this case, the employee onboarding process determines the effectiveness and efficiency of employees within an organization.
New employees in an organization experience some on-boarding. However, the nature of the programs differs in their formality and comprehensiveness. Some firms prefer to have a more structured and systematic approach, whereas others have an unstructured and disorganized procedure. In an unsystematic employee on-boarding type of structure, new employees struggle to figure out what their roles within the position they hold. Furthermore, the programs differ regarding formality, the number of employees onboard at the same time, as well as the extent of support that the programs offer to the new hires. Some organizations have formal structures that are rigid, and which require following various procedures to the latter whereas others have informal ones. Therefore, employee onboarding is not a defined process, but instead, a company defines the procedures that it will follow as well as the rules that will guide the entire process.
Employee orientation has various best practices that organizations can follow for best results, and they include having a formal orientation program and which is in writing. An organization also considers other issues such as whether the company warmly welcomes employees on their first day. Firms further determine whether employees should be provided with a workstation immediately and whether they are provided with lunch on the first day. Therefore, the first day is the most important one for an employee on the job; hence, firms should try to make them feel special as early as two weeks into the job. In this case, employee onboarding is an essential process for new employees within a firm and which determines the long run productivity of a firm depending on how it treats new hires.
Employee on-boarding is a process that goes on even after paperwork and orientation involving the history of the company is complete. The training of recruits continues to involved guidelines on the performance of daily duties, mentorship opportunities, round-the-clock feedback and introduction to essential members of the firm. An organization should incorporate the tasks of orientation with its cultural and organizational training to ensure that the new employees understand where they fit into the firm. The human resource can create a checklist that will enable them to ensure that the employee onboarding process covers all topics. Accountability is a critical component that the firm can achieve by having a sheet that will contain the file of the new employees. If a company incorporates these best practices, it will enhance the employee onboarding process and elevate it towards success. Therefore, an organization should measure the level of employee onboarding best practices’ effectiveness over time and the strength of their contribution.
In conclusion, employee onboarding is an orderly and strategic process that determines retention in the future. If effectively done, it leads to lower turnover which in turn improves productivity and saves a firm’s resources that it would have incurred in replacement costs. The nature of employee on-boarding differs from one organization to another, but the manner that a firm handles new hires on the first day determines its success. There are various best practices that an organization can incorporate to ensure the success of the entire concept. For instance, the process should be formal and in writing, continuous, friendly, provide support for new hires, introduce and incorporate them to the team and culture, and provide feedback. Therefore, the way an organization plans and implements employee onboarding process is crucial in determining its productivity and success in the future.
Alternative Solutions to the Employee Turnover Challenge
Employee turnover is a significant challenge across organizations, and the issue has a major cost implication on organizations in terms of hiring and training new workers after the unexpected exit of workers. In addition to the replacement costs, employee turnover also results into a loss in company productivity; weaken work relation and loss of intellectual capital as employees are considered as critical assets in an organization (Hom et al., 2017). Taking into consideration the serious implication of employee turnover on the organization, there is a need to develop workable solutions that organizations could implement to address this challenge.
Solutions to Address Employee Turnover
The three solutions that have been suggested to address the problem of employee turnover include maintaining better hiring practices, better employee engagement and compensating personnel adequately. The proposed solutions have been analyzed by alternative identification to examine how the solution addresses the challenge, actor involvement to outline the players who are engaged in the process of implementing the solution as well as the implementation process to determine how easy or difficult it would be actually to implement the solution.
Better Hiring Practices
It is possible to reduce staff turnover significantly through the recruitment of the right personnel in the first place. Majority of hiring problems are attributed to poor recruitment practices, thus the need to screen all potential candidates to select the right person for the job.
Alternative Identification: Focusing on the candidate’s job skills and suitability of the individual to the workplace culture is an essential approach in ensuring the right personnel joins the organization. According to Huang et al. (2016), conducting a background check of the individual is critical in ensuring that it is only the right candidates that get to join an organization. The specific steps that will be taken to ensure appropriate hiring practices are implemented is to develop a rigorous recruitment and selection plan that the company will adhere to in all its recruitment processes.
Actor Involvement: The actors engaged in the selection process include the human resource department, the recruitment panel, and the department manager where the employee will be working. The human resource department is charged with the mandate of developing the selection guidelines when recruiting new personnel to the organization (Huang et al., 2016). The selection panel, on the other hand, is involved in the interviewing of prospective candidates to determine their suitability for the position. The department head, on the other hand, understands the role that the candidate will undertake, thus ensure the skills and qualification of this candidate for the role. Agreement and buying of each of these actors will be achieved by requiring that they adhere to the recruitment metrics set by the organization.
Implementation: Implementing effective hiring and recruitment guidelines can be easily achieved by documenting the metrics to adhere to while undertaking the process. Nonetheless, the documentation process could take a long time and involve different actors to undertake the process successfully.
Promoting Employee Engagement
Another solution for addressing employee turnover is through engaging them in new projects and tasks that allow them to apply their skills and talent to undertake work roles.
Alternative Identification: Keeping employees engaged in new projects not only creates a vibrant work environment where employees take up new roles but also averts the possibility of personnel losing interest in their roles. The specific steps implemented to achieve the goal entail seeking employee input in determining ways to keep the job interesting and providing new experiences and fresh challenges to personnel so that they can look forward to undertaking their roles in the organization (Lu et al., 2016). The rationale of promoting employee engagement is to maintain a vibrant work setting and eliminate the possibility of personnel getting bored because of repetitive tasks they undertake in the workplace all the time.
Actor Involvement: Some actors are engaged in promoting employee engagement in the workplace. These include individual employees, project team managers, departmental heads and supervisors. Individual employees are the ones who undertake work processes at the organization are directly involved in the day to day operation of the company (Lu et al., 2016). , and it is their role to strategically develop work schedules to ensure employees are appropriately engaged and allowed to utilize their skills and experience to undertake their roles at the company. Getting agreement and buying from these actors is achieved by sharing the organizational goals and objectives with them so that the work processes are designed to be as vibrant and engaging as possible. It should be made part of the organizational culture that the firm considers personnel as a resourceful resource in the company, thus the need to structure the work projects in accordance with the personnel capabilities and talents.
Implementation: Promoting employee engagement is achieved in the long term once the company has embraced the approach in all its work processes. The company has a role in ensuring employee engagement by embracing the practice as part of the organizational culture. The involved actors should also be well versed with their roles and how they could promote a versatile work environment where employees look forward to undertaking their tasks.
Any company that does not offer proper compensation of its personnel, risks losing its employees to rivals. Losing talented and experienced staff is a big blow to the company; thus adequate compensation of staff for their roles is considered as a workable way of retaining them.
Alternative Identification: The company needs to implement an effective compensation plan that is in line with the industry standards, and this can be achieved by checking available resources with such information so that comparison can be conducted on an annual basis (Timms et al., 2015). Providing fringe benefits to personnel such as health insurance, holiday, and retirement benefits could make employees prefer working for the company than rivals. The steps taken to achieve adequate employee compensation entails developing compensation scheduled that conforms to employee roles and industry standards and allocating benefit package to personnel.
Actor Involvement: The actors engaged in employee compensation include the human resource department, the accounting department, and the top management. The human resource department sets the level of employee compensation that their roles and responsibilities entitle each employee. The accounting department is tasked with the responsibility of the payroll preparation and ensuring all employees get the relevant benefits and perks (Timms et al., 2015). The top management is engaged in reviewing the employee pay and benefits system from time to time so that employees do not leave the organization to join competitors who have a better compensation scheme.
Implementation: Implementing an effective compensation system is a rigorous task that is undertaken on an on-going basis so that the company’s compensation system reflects the industry standards and is attractive to personnel so that they are retained in the firm.
The Solution: Promoting Employee Engagement
Among the three alternative solutions, promoting employee engagement seems to offer the best potential for reducing employee turnover in any workplace. One of the outcomes associated with employee engagement is the increase in job satisfaction. On the contrary, decreased job satisfaction is reported to be one of the drivers of high turnover rates in employment. Engaging in better hiring practices may only improve the quality of employees that the organization takes in. However, keeping these employees interested in their jobs is more important for employment longevity. Similarly, increasing employee remuneration can only go so far in retaining workers. A dissatisfied employee may opt to take up other opportunities in organizations paying them lower salaries due to the emotional implications of continuing to work in a given workplace. Promoting employee engagement comes with several other benefits to the individual and to the organization at large and is the only probable long term solution to the problem of high employee turnover.
Employee Turnover Theories and Employee Engagement
The concept of employee turnover is a complicated phenomenon that has been understood through various theories over the years. According to Ngo-Henha (2017), employee turnover is considered somewhat like an organizational curse that involves the most useful and the most talented employees leaving an organization out of the will and in search of other opportunities. Organizations lose many of their skilled employees to competitors due to various reasons, some of which can be prevented. For the organization that loses a qualified employee, the financial and social detriments of the loss are profound. Not only does employee turnover result in a social capital loss but it also affects the morale of the employees who remain behind and even the organizational reputation. The employee turnover theories that exist today attempt to provide a background to employee turnover that can be used to find solutions to it.
The first turnover theory is the theory of organizational equilibrium (TOE). This theory is considered the first common descriptor of employee turnover intention. It is a reflection of why most employees leave organizations that they were initially proud to be involved in. The theory hypothesizes that the employee turnover decision is based on a consideration of an employees’ contributions to organizational goals and objectives. Ngo-Henha (2017) points out that organizations need to ensure that there is a balance between organizational goals and objectives and individual employee contributions. The employee weights their contribution to the organization against the organization’s contribution to the individual employee’s life. Where the organizational contribution to the employee life is worth less than what the employee is contributing to the organization, then that employee is most likely to leave. Additionally, the theory focuses on two main factors of job satisfaction namely, compatibility with one’s roles at work and the conformity between one’s image and one’s job. If either of these is in dispute, the employee will leave (Ngo-Henha, 2017).
Unlike increasing the employee remuneration and practicing better hiring, promoting employee engagement helps organizations to achieve better equilibrium between organizational goals and objectives and the employee’s contribution. According to Patro (2013), the level of commitment of an employee to his/ her organization depends on the level of involvement that the employee has at the organization. An employee has to be involved in organizational operations, and through this, to become aware of its values, beliefs and the business context. Where the employee understands the business context, it is possible for an employee to find a balance between what the organization is contributing to his life and what he is contributing to the organization. For instance, an employee could willingly work for lower remuneration at a job he/ she is satisfied with and in which he/ she feels that their contribution is significant, once they understand the business context and they feel part of it. Patro (2013) also points out that employee engagement positively impacts their productivity by enhancing their collaboration with colleagues and also their benefits to the organization. Either of these outcomes is linked to the employee compatibility with the job and with the conformity of their image with their functions in the organization, and thus directly reduce turnover.
A second theory explaining employee turnover is the job embeddedness theory (JET). This theory explains job satisfaction in the context of the connection between an employee and the social links in the workplace. The theory hypothesizes that an employee’s willingness to not leave a job position is dependent on a variety of factors including the strength of the relationships they have developed in the workplace, organizational and community integration in the workplace, identification with organizational cultures and job requirements, employee personal values, skills, knowledge and individual career aspirations (Ngo-Henha, 2017). In this regard, the theory points out those employees in any given workplace would be more willing to focus on their jobs if all these factors push them towards longevity in the workplace. Employees will only stay at a workplace in case there is a feeling of embeddedness to their social and professional environment.
Considering the solutions presented, it is only promoting employee engagement that can help in developing the sense of embeddedness that is a requirement for low employee turnover An organizational culture that supports social interactions, teamwork and collaboration, and in which employees are encouraged to be creative in their roles, is more likely to create employee embeddedness (Osborne & Hammoud, 2017). Supportive management calls for employee engagement in the decision-making process, which results in improved performance of the individual employees and of the business as a whole. Moreover, employee engagement also fosters customer satisfaction since the employees understand the organizational goals and objectives and are more willing to be engaged in the activities about its growth. Employee engagement also increases the number of people who care about performing well in their respective roles and who celebrate at the achievements of the organization. These are satisfied employees who would not leave the organization easily.
Employee engagement presents a better opportunity for organizations to improve employee turnover outcomes. Every employee desires to work within an organization in which their contribution is not only expected but is also valued. It is also through employee engagement that organizations can boost teamwork, promote innovativeness and encourage job satisfaction. Based on the theory of organizational equilibrium and the job embeddedness theory, employees are more likely to stay at jobs for which the roles conform to their image. The roles are compatible with their career aspirations, they have built strong social and professional ties, and in which they feel their contributions to the organization are at par with the contributions of the organization to their lives. All these factors are achieved where employee engagement is strong. Furthermore, neither better hiring practices nor increasing employee remuneration can result in sustainable job satisfaction or build strong social and professional ties. It is only through promoting employee engagement that these can be accomplished.
Hom, P. W., Lee, T. W., Shaw, J. D., & Hausknecht, J. P. (2017). One hundred years of employee turnover theory and research. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102(3), 530.
Huang, Y. H., Lee, J., McFadden, A. C., Murphy, L. A., Robertson, M. M., Cheung, J. H., & Zohar, D. (2016). Beyond safety outcomes: An investigation of the impact of safety climate on job satisfaction, employee engagement and turnover using social exchange theory as the theoretical framework. Applied Ergonomics, 55,248-257.
Lu, L., Lu, A. C. C., Gursoy, D., & Neale, N. R. (2016). Work engagement, job satisfaction, and turnover intentions: A comparison between supervisors and line-level employees. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 28(4), 737-761.
Ngo- Henha, P.E. (2017). A review of existing turnover intention theories. International Journal of Economics and Management Engineering, 11(11), 2760-2767. Retrieved from waset.org/publications/10008789/a-review-of-existing-turnover-intention-theories
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Timms, C., Brough, P., O’Driscoll, M., Kalliath, T., Siu, O. L., Sit, C., & Lo, D. (2015). Flexible work arrangements, work engagement, turnover intentions and psychological health. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 53(1), 83-103.