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Avoiding the Money Game

October 1, 1999
Related Topics: Retention, Featured Article
Are you looking for something more effective than a counteroffer to keep your top talent from walking out the door? If so, you might want to evaluate how well your company is doing when it comes to satisfying employee needs in some very critical areas. The following are questions that pinpoint reasons why an employee may leave—things that a pay increase can’t alleviate. How would your employees rate your performance in the following areas?

Competitive Total Compensation
How competitive are your pay practices? When was the last time you reviewed your pay levels against the market? Are your bonus or incentive compensation practices in line with your competitors? Do you recognize and reward employee contributions to business results? Do you offer benefits and perks that make your employees think twice before leaving?

Opportunities for Advancement
Do you promote from within or do you fill the majority of new positions from outside the company? Do you have any formal or informal succession planning or "fast tracking" for top performers? Do you provide professional growth and learning opportunities for employees?

Management Style
What’s the management style in the areas that are are experiencing the most turnover? Do employees feel they have a voice and are recognized for their contribution, or do they work for micro-managers who don’t encourage independence or initiative? (Few things send good employees looking for new jobs faster than bad managers!)

Operating Environment
Does your company use contract employees to augment staffing needs and address fluctuations in business? If so, you may be loosing regular staff in areas where contractors are working side-by-side with regular employees, yet earning twice as much money without the pressure and headaches that often accompany office politics and regular employment.

Employee Involvement
Do you involve employees in the design and implementation of various business systems or programs that impact them? Does your culture and values system encourage open communication and employee input? Do you ever conduct employee interviews or focus groups (before the exit interview!) to identify critical employee issues and gain understanding of your company from the employee perspective? If so, do you act on input and/or suggestions from employees?

Workforce, October 1999, Vol. 78, No. 10, p. 54.

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