You’ve assembled a strong management team and supporting cast to deliver your value proposition. But once a team is assembled, how do you retain it? Whether you’re a startup, in a growth mode, at a mature state, or contemplating a transition, one of your keys to success is retaining your team. Many companies are aware that employee retention and engagement are interrelated, but they’re unsure of how to improve in these areas.
One of the most overlooked components of management retention that can have a big impact is overall organizational strategy. Regardless of entity structure or industry, focusing on three key organizational strategies can help you increase employee engagement and strengthen management retention. These strategies include the following:
- Conducting strategic planning with a people focus
- Defining the highest and best use for each position
- Identifying opportunities to share resources
While these approaches may seem apparent, it’s rare for an organization to execute all of them well. Following is an overview of each strategy and how your company can leverage them to improve retention—providing long-term benefits for employers and employees.
Strategic Planning for Your People
A strategic people plan is crucial for retention. Developing one will show your employees that they’re critical to the success of the organization, which can help them feel engaged and less likely to leave.
A plan for your people should be aligned with your customer, financial, and operational goals and objectives, and it should address the following:
- Staffing structure. How do you organize your direct services—such as customer-facing and delivery services—and indirect, or support, services?
- Staffing levels. How many of each type of position do you need to achieve your operational expectations now and in the future?
- Skills. What competencies do you need to efficiently and effectively execute your plan?
- Training and development. How do you cultivate the competencies you need as they evolve over time?
- Compensation program. How does your compensation program incentivize the performance you require from your people?
Highest and Best Use
Organizations typically think about what they need each position to do, but they often neglect another key aspect: what they don’t want each position to do. When organizations incorporate this second component, also known as defining highest and best use, they demonstrate that they prioritize their employees’ time as much as they do business goals.
This approach to resource utilization requires the following:
- Clear roles and responsibilities
- Effective delegation
- Consistent empowerment
- Disciplined planning and execution
A workforce of employees who operate at their highest and best use benefits the employer, who gets a greater contribution from employees, and the employees, who are more stimulated and engaged while operating at their full potential. In addition, employees who are able to operate at their highest and best use are better able to achieve accelerated career trajectories, in part, because they aren’t spending time on low value activities.
Another organizational strategy that serves as a win-win for employer and employee is determining how to effectively leverage resources across your organization. A team approach to delegating tasks and resources can pull an organization together, promote camaraderie, enhance performance, and strengthen employee engagement.
Resource sharing is typically best achieved by treating administrative and analytical resources as pooled resources. These two resources are commonly dedicated to a single department or function, even though multiple parts of the organization can benefit from administrative and analytical support. Sharing these resources provides greater capacity through increased utilization, backup for employees on paid-time-off, and a cross-trained workforce, which provides management with more reliable and skilled resources.
Shifting these responsibilities off management’s plate will free up time for strategic initiatives. Additionally, treating analytics as a shared resource equips management with the information needed to make well-informed decisions on key initiatives more quickly. This fosters highest and best use in management, which can lead to more meaningful contributions and greater employee satisfaction.
We’re Here to Help
If you have questions about organizational planning or would like help improving your retention, please contact your Moss Adams professional.