Those with Low Retention Need to “Unpack” Issues

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<p><strong>New York &mdash; Aug. 31</strong><br />Organizations that cite workforce retention struggles typically have a host of interconnected problems beneath the surface, says workforce consulting firm Corporate Counseling Associates (CCA). </p><p>As a result, CCA is helping companies &ldquo;unpack&rdquo; their issues to discover underlying problems.<br /><br />Creative approaches are needed before top-performing employees are lost in the dwindling talent pool, says the firm, which has developed new principles and road maps to help companies achieve talent management success.<br /><br />&ldquo;Businesses are turning to us for help with retention issues, but we&rsquo;re increasingly finding those issues are symptoms of a much larger problem,&rdquo; said Steve Salee, CCA vice president of consultative services. &ldquo;The core problem usually stems from a lack of talent management and onboarding programs, which triggers a &lsquo;ripple effect&rsquo; across recruiting, hiring and retaining, as well as professional development and succession planning.&rdquo;<br /><br />With the workforce talent pool shrinking and employees seeking greater flexibility, organizations need to redouble their talent management efforts or risk losing top performers to competitors with progressive approaches. </p><p>Illustrating the need for flexible thinking is a July 2007 survey from the Pew Research Center, which found 60 percent of working mothers prefer part-time work rather than full-time &mdash; compared with 48 percent a decade earlier.<br /><br />Corporate consolidations are also straining employee cultures. Companies once merged businesses, but now mega-organizations merge internal business units without always considering the need to integrate cultures.<br /><br />&ldquo;Companies can no longer afford to be fuzzy, inefficient and disconnected when it comes to managing their employees,&rdquo; Salee said. &ldquo;The changes in the marketplace demand that a corporate culture be connected and precise.&rdquo;<br /><br />Different challenges require different approaches. CCA&rsquo;s multilayered approach &ldquo;unpacks&rdquo; a company&rsquo;s overall retention struggle into various component pieces, addressing each aspect with steps that work within an existing corporation&rsquo;s culture rather than stamp a pre-existing philosophy into place.<br /><br />CCA experts stress that businesses need to &ldquo;connect the dots&rdquo; when modifying their traditional strategies. A talent management initiative should satisfy four guiding principles:<br /></p><ul><li><strong>Persistence:</strong> A leadership team must be named and held responsible for overseeing and communicating ongoing success.</li><li><strong>Flexibility: </strong>Onboarding, coaching, team building and other elements must be flexible in design and execution to fit with different cultures, operations and priorities within the organization.</li><li><strong>Accountability: </strong>Leaders and managers at all levels must be held accountable &mdash; financially and nonfinancially &mdash; for the initiative&rsquo;s success. Without accountability, this work is likely to be postponed or unfinished because of competing priorities.</li><li><strong>Measurability: </strong>Success metrics must be established upfront, implemented and reviewed to ensure effectiveness.<br /></li></ul><p>&ldquo;The key is not to be overly cerebral but rather to understand people and the workplace on a personal level,&rdquo; Salee said. &ldquo;Once in place, this approach can be scaled to any level, focusing on individuals, departments and the organization.&rdquo;</p>

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