We all know that unemployment is at an all-time low. So it’s not surprising that many organizations are finding themselves either losing employees or having people come forward with lucrative potential offers from other organizations.

An organization I encountered recently was particularly alarmed by the number of their managers who had considered other positions (with some having taken them).

This is a highly sought after employer who has been almost shocked at their vulnerability in this marketplace. They’ve been caught somewhat unaware of how this labor market will impact them.

Following is an example of a retention plan that would address these issues — so you can keep your high performing employees that keep your organization thriving.

1. Conduct stay interviews. This company had never heard of this concept, and maybe you haven’t either. Stay interviews are meetings between senior managers and individuals to explore their needs for learning, development, and the best alignment with their work.

The goal of these meetings is to surface specific areas that need attention and create opportunities to increase their engagement. If you’re interested in learning more, the work of Dick Finnegan in his book, HR’s Greatest Challenge, is a great resource for this topic.

2. Prevent burnout. Like many organizations who have been growing in this economy, the workload on the management team had been increasing as they struggled to keep up with the increased orders. This had led several of the managers to experience varying levels of burnout.

Make a list identifying specific individuals who might have expressed symptoms of burnout and ensure that follow-up action plans address this issue. One of the main solutions to burnout often includes increasing work-life balance, a critical but sometimes difficult task.

3. Ensure clarity of goals and celebrate small successes. We focused on the strategic planning process to ensure that the goals of the organization were clear to each team member. Their monthly/quarterly milestones were clearly identified to increase a sense of success.

Often, teams are working hard with little sense of accomplishment. While it’s beneficial for goals to be identified and achieved for business, it’s equally important that individuals have a sense of how they personally contribute to the bigger picture and their role in achieving success for the organization.

4. Ensure management development plans are in place. A core element of engagement is for individuals to have a sense of how they can be growing, learning, and preparing for future roles. This can be a very powerful retention strategy.

This type of work is often recognized as important but may fall by the wayside under periods of growth when workloads are growing. It’s important to keep this piece simple but to ensure that the plans are in place and progress is made if at all possible.

5. Take a fresh look at compensation levels compared to the market. With increasing opportunities for each member of the leadership team, there can be additional pressure on compensation rates. Be careful that you are not the frog in hot water dropping behind in your market levels with little awareness.

While there are no simple answers to this area of concern, it’s important to be alert to the reality. Tracking the competing market offers through your candidates or new hires and managers who leave is an integral part of maintaining a real-time sense of potentially raising market levels.

While this is an example of a retention strategy, it’s important that each organization have one of their own. Without a clear retention strategy, this competitive labor market can end up managing you versus the other way around.

If you’re ready to create a retention strategy that helps your business meet its goals in a competitive market, contact me here or call me at (708) 362-1664 and let’s talk.

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