Employee retention is one of the most important aspects of running an organization. Studies show that an employee who stays for more than three years can save your agency up to 50% on new hiring costs during those three years.
It is estimated that it costs between 50% – 60% of an employee’s annual salary just to replace them. When you factor in recruiting costs and other expenses associated with losing a skilled worker, it becomes clear why retention is so important to your agency’s bottom line.
Employee Retention: Strategies to Retain the Most Valuable Assets in your Agency
Employee retention is important for the government agency because there is a large annual turnover rate. The federal government has an annual turnover rate of 13.3%, which means that for every one person who leaves, there are twelve others looking to take their place. The private sector has a 15-20% annual turnover rate and employees cost anywhere between 50-60% of their salary when they leave your company. In addition, it takes time and money to find replacements, so if you lose an experienced employee it could put your organization behind schedule or make it impossible to meet deadlines on projects.
One way you can retain your best employees is by offering them benefits that make them feel valued by giving them opportunities to advance in their careers while staying with your organization (otherwise known as career development). You can also retain employees by providing clear expectations about what’s expected from them at work and how they’ll be rewarded for meeting those expectations (this is called performance management).
What do you think is the number 1 reason why employees leave?
- Lack of opportunity for advancement
- Poor management
- Lack of recognition for a job well done
- Poor work environment
- Bad pay and benefits, including: No 401k matching program, no dental insurance, low salaries (especially when compared to the cost of living in that area), and no bonuses based on performance or attendance/retention goals met by the team member(s).
The annual turnover rate for the federal government is 13.3%. The rate for the private sector is about 15-20% annually.
In fact, the government’s annual turnover rate is 13.3%, while the private sector’s is 15-20%- The federal government has a higher annual turnover rate than the private sector.
There are several reasons why federal employees are more likely to leave their jobs than their private-sector counterparts.
To further highlight the importance of employee retention, a loss of a skilled employee can cost anywhere between 50% – 60% of that employee’s annual salary.
To further highlight the importance of employee retention, a loss of a skilled employee can cost anywhere between 50% – 60% of that employee’s annual salary. Hiring a new employee is approximately 20% of their annual salary.
- If your agency has an average pay rate of $50,000 per year and an employee leaves after three years, it would take you two years to recoup the loss in productivity by hiring a replacement worker at this same pay rate.
- If you lose an experienced worker who has been with your organization for five years, it would take more than five years to make up for that loss in productivity by hiring another full-time staff member at their current salary level.
When employees are unhappy they lack enthusiasm, morale and motivation.
When employees are unhappy they lack enthusiasm, morale and motivation. A positive, engaged workforce is more productive, helps to create a positive company culture and increases customer satisfaction. The best way to retain your best employees is by keeping them happy with their jobs at your agency.
The first step in retaining your most valuable assets is to make sure they’re happy with the work environment at your agency. Employees should be able to feel that they are part of something bigger than themselves – that their contributions matter and the work they do has value in the community or industry you serve.
How do you retain talented federal employees?
- Provide incentives.
- Train your employees and give them tools that they need to be successful.
- Provide leadership opportunities, such as mentoring, training or coaching programs.
Provide incentives like career development, training and tuition reimbursement. Train your employees and give them tools that they need to be successful.
- Provide incentives like career development, training and tuition reimbursement.
- Train your employees and give them tools that they need to be successful.
- Training is a great way to keep employees engaged and motivated. It also helps them learn new skills and stay up to date with the latest technology.
Provide leadership opportunities, such as mentoring, training or coaching programs.
According to a 2013 study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), only 50 percent of employees feel their organizations have a strong leadership program in place that supports career advancement opportunities.
While there are many ways leadership programs can be structured, mentoring programs are one way to provide employees with the opportunity to learn from more experienced leaders within your agency. A mentor is someone who shares their knowledge and skills with a less-experienced colleague in order to help them accelerate their professional development. Mentors provide guidance and advice on how best to navigate workplace situations, while also helping identify potential pitfalls such as potential conflicts with coworkers. The benefits of mentoring include improved productivity, higher job satisfaction and better overall work performance for both mentors and mentees. Depending on how you structure your program, there may also be an added benefit: having dedicated mentors could make it easier for new employees—or those who aren’t used to working at your company—to settle into their new roles quickly because they’ll already know someone there who has been through similar experiences before!
Provide flexible work schedules and telecommuting options when feasible.
When it comes to flexible work schedules and telecommuting options, you’re likely already doing a few things right. Offering these perks can help your agency save money on office space and other overhead costs, which can be especially helpful if your budget is tight. You’ll also notice a boost in morale and employee retention when employees feel like they have more control over their work-life balance.
As the saying goes: “You get what you give.” When it comes to employee retention strategies, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Take note of how people’s schedules affect their productivity levels at work; if you notice any patterns (like someone who works better late at night), try adjusting their schedule so they don’t feel like they’re being forced into an undesirable routine or lifestyle choice just because it happens to fit with yours best right now.
Show appreciation for a job well done and recognition for quality performance. Praise your employees in front of their peers and managers to boost morale and confidence on the job.
Employee recognition should be a regular practice that is offered to employees who have done a good job, met their goals and/or exceeded expectations. When an employee receives recognition for a job well done, it reinforces the positive behavior and encourages them to continue doing what they’re doing. It also strengthens morale and gives others in your department a sense of pride about working for such an agency.
Here are some ways you can go about showing appreciation:
- Praise your employees in front of their peers and managers to boost morale and confidence on the job.
- Recognition can be in the form of a bonus, award or alternative work schedule (e.g., flexible hours).
- Recognition can take many forms – from simple thank-yous or words of encouragement, to pats on backs (literally!) or even public praise at staff meetings so everyone knows why you’re honoring them with this extra attention today!
Reward exceptional performance with bonuses, awards or an alternative work schedule when possible. Many agencies offer bonuses for quality performance or additional training each year as a positive reward for performance above expectations.
The most successful agencies recognize that employees who exceed expectations deserve to be rewarded. When you’re able to show your appreciation for hard work, it gives employees an incentive to continue performing at that level or even better. It’s important to recognize the impact these qualities have on your agency and its clients by rewarding exemplary performance with bonuses, awards or an alternative work schedule when possible.
Many agencies offer bonuses for quality performance or additional training each year as a positive reward for performance above expectations. Other agencies implement a formal recognition program that rewards employees annually based on their job title, length of service and other factors that affect productivity within the organization.
In summary, there are several strategies you can use to retain the most valuable assets in your agency. The first step is recognizing that employee retention is a priority that deserves time and attention throughout the year. Next, it’s important to offer incentives such as career development, training and tuition reimbursement to keep employees engaged and motivated. Finally, provide leadership opportunities like mentoring, coaching programs or telecommuting options when feasible so that employees feel supported in their career development goals by others who have similar interests