Tech Tools for Building Employee Retention

Written for EO by Anand Srinivasan.

A 2018 study published by Mercer, one of the leading human resources consulting firms in the world, found that over one-third of all employees surveyed expressed an intent to quit their current job within the next 12 months—despite the fact that the vast majority of them also reported being satisfied with their jobs.

This is not good news if you’re an employer. It costs between six to nine months of an employee’s salary on average to hire and train them. That adds up to thousands of dollars spent each year in just getting staff up to speed. Reducing employee turnover can not only ensure higher productivity but also save your company a lot of money.

Successful employee retention depends a great deal on identifying and addressing the factors that contribute to their satisfaction and engagement. One Gallup study found that salary and benefits concerns, slow career advancement and poor job fit are among the top reasons why employees leave an organization.

As an employer, how do you deal with these factors efficiently and effectively? Try these technology based approaches.

Salary and benefits

Your employees’ salary, benefits and perks play a critical role in determining how long they will stay at your organization.

Linking performance—either the company’s overall success or an individual staff member’s work—to bonuses is one way to motivate staff and and make them feel rewarded for their work. Likewise, some smaller organizations offer a part of the company’s equity to employees—such as stock options that are only realized after the employee reaches five years or 10 years at the company.

Modern-day analytical tools can help an organization measure performance improvements more accurately. For example, a sales manager is typically paid in part for the number of customers they bring each month. With the right tools, it’s possible to analyze customer behavior a lot more accurately. This helps you segregate customers based on the value they bring and reward sales managers commensurately.

Career advancement

Job skills are always evolving. Technology and tools that were in vogue a few years back may be extinct or unrecognizalbe today. For instance, programming languages like PHP have given way to Python. Similarly, today’s hotel receptionist or a cab driver must be smartphone savvy. Not offering your employees the right tools to advance their skills puts them at risk for being made redundant in future—and puts you at risk for having staff who are behind the curve or eager to go elsewhere to learn the latest.

The most effective way to help your employees stay ahead in their field is by enrolling them in training. Consider paying for your employees’ ongoing certifications in exchange for a longer tenure at your organization. Or invest in a free learning management system (LMS) like Google Classroom, which provides a collaborative and efficient platform to train dozens of employees at a low cost.

Lack of fit to a job

An employee may fail to fit into a role either due to technical or cultural factors. While employers do look for these aspects during the interview process, the assessment is largely subjective in nature and often one’s gut feel drives the decision-making process.

Using the right anayltics, much of these inherent human biases are removed from the equation. For example, many organizations today ask applicants or newly hired employees to take psychometric tests (also known as personality tests) to assess their emotional and cultural fit in an organization.

More importantly, there are a number of industry specific tools that assess skills. For example, a tool like CodeEval could help an interviewer assess a candidate’s coding skills in any particular language. Simulation tools like GapJumpers put a candidate into a situation to assess their performance. These tools are vastly more effective in assessing job fit than many traditional interview techniques or gut instincts.

The job of a human resources manager in any organization is not only to manage the supply and demand for skills across various departments, but to also make sure that current employees are happy in their roles and have few reasons to quit. Technology has made it possible for managers to assess potential problems early on in the life of an employee and fix them before it is too late.

Anand Srinivasan is the founder of Hubbion, a suite of free business apps and services.

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