Over the last two years, employees have come to appreciate the benefits to a fully remote or hybrid work environment. These benefits include saving time commuting, more productivity, schedule flexibility, and better work / life balance. A vast majority of workers do not want to relinquish these benefits as we begin to migrate back into the office. According to Payscale’s 2021 State of Remote Work Report, 43% of employees expect more remote work options moving forward. Yes – remote work is here to stay. Considering the high number of employees anticipating opportunities for remote work and the bourgeoning talent retention challenges from the Great Resignation, organizations must consider how they will respond. In this Astronology®, we’ll briefly discuss a weakness many organizations are facing in connection with the recent demand for remote and hybrid work environments, and some compensation options to deal with this new work environment.
Three Common Approaches to Remote Work Base Pay Compensation
Establishing pay based on where the employees live – Using this approach allows the organization to incorporate the cost of living where the employee lives. This is a major concern for employees that live in locations with a high cost of living. They will find this approach beneficial as it guarantees they will at least earn a wage that will allow them to maintain their current living conditions. A disadvantage to this approach is that staff with the same tasks / job title, but with a lower wage due to their location, may feel negatively impacted. In time, this approach can lead to low employee morale and a lack of motivation.
Establishing pay based on the location of the organization – This approach involves using the organization’s headquarters as the benchmark for base pay. Doing so could eliminate unfair pay issues as employees with similar responsibilities would have the same pay – regardless of where they are located. Organizations must keep in mind that this approach could result in talent retention issues. For example, remote workers from a high cost of living area may not be inclined to work for an organization that has its pay centered on a lower cost of living headquarters.
Establishing pay based on the national pay average – A third approach could be to use the national average as the benchmark for base pay. While using the national average seems to be a fair approach, be mindful that workers from locations of high cost of living may find themselves being paid lower than their location’s cost of living. To alleviate this, some organizations have offered a 15% to 20% premium to workers from major cities such as New York and San Francisco. This approach also means workers from rural areas may possibly gain a bump in pay if the national average is higher than the local average.
Incorporating Total Rewards into Compensation for Remote Employees
Regardless of your stance for a fully remote, hybrid, or fully in office work environment, Astron recommends constructing your compensation philosophy on Total Rewards – no matter the industry or the workforce population. Total Rewards is the combination of benefits, compensation, and other rewards that an employee receives for their work. By combining both the intrinsic and extrinsic rewards and providing transparent messaging of these rewards, employees can see the bigger picture of how the organization values their contributions.
The main purpose of a total rewards compensation strategy is to help organizations strike the perfect balance of budget constraints and organizational culture, mission, and goals. By thinking about direct and indirect forms of compensation strategically, organizations can develop more effective compensation plans that support long-term engagement goals while also making the most of available resources. With this new phase of hybrid work environments, incorporating a total rewards approach to compensation may provide the best solution for both employers and employees.
Is your organization part of the 81% that does not have a compensation plan in place that considers remote compensation? Contact us today to learn how you can update your compensation program to reflect our ever changing world.
Is your organization part of the 19% that does incorporate geography into pay? Share your thoughts with us in the comment box below!
There was a time when compensation and benefits were relatively simple and straightforward. Companies provided wages in exchange for employee time and effort, and some sweetened the deal with insurance benefits such as health, life, and long-term disability. Over time, the competition to attract and retain a dedicated, productive workforce has driven employers to rethink the perquisites (perks) they offer.
This reevaluation led many to adopt a Total Rewards strategy, and the changes in workforce management in recent years has made the concept of Total Rewards even more relevant.
A company’s culture – who it is and its values – plays a significant role in identifying the Total Rewards components that speak to an organization’s workforce and drive success, for both the business and individuals. Creativity is the key to a cutting edge Total Rewards program.
In this article, we will introduce the idea of Total Rewards and discuss how such a focus can shape and reinforce your culture.
Total Rewards is a Holistic Approach to Employee Recognition
Total Rewards takes a broader and more comprehensive view of compensation, extending beyond wages and health insurance, to address all facets of an employee’s life – work-related as well as personal.
The approach recognizes that employees value more than a paycheck. They appreciate and in many instances expect companies to reward their service in ways that support all aspects of their lives with both direct and indirect compensation. Additionally, more workers are pressing employers to stand up as good corporate citizens and address current challenges facing society. One way many organizations address these concerns is with original Total Rewards designs.
Distinguishing Direct and Indirect Compensation
Total Rewards programs encompass both direct and indirect forms of compensation. Direct compensation refers to the cash paid to employees for the work they perform. Direct compensation seems straight forward, but there is more to this category than just base pay. Bonuses, commissions, stock options, profit sharing, and other monetary earnings fall into this category.
Indirect compensation is everything else.This broad concept is limited only by legal parameters, corporate budget, and the levers that drive an organization’s overall compensation strategy. Some standard perks that fall under this umbrella include health insurance, paid time off, and retirement plans (pension and 401(k)), but any non-monetary “extra” conferred is an indirect benefit.
The Flexibility of Indirect Benefits
In recent years, we have seen an explosion in the innovative ways companies attract, retain, and recognize their employees. In the most effective programs, Total Rewards offerings mirror the company’s values, mission, and overall culture.
A company’s catalog of indirect benefits speaks volumes about who they are, where they are going, and how they want to get there. They inform applicants prior to the interview stage, thus attracting candidates who value the culture and direction of the organization. Once on board, indirect benefits greatly impact employee commitment and morale.
Examples of indirect benefits that extend beyond paid time off and insurance coverages include:
Flexible work schedules
Compressed workweeks (i.e., 4-day workweek)
Employee assistance programs supporting mental health needs
Wellness benefits, such as gym memberships
Child and elder care
Sabbaticals to pursue work and non-work related interests
Student loan repayment
This list could go on and on. Each organization needs to reflect on their unique situation and devise a comprehensive Total Rewards strategy that dovetails with their business goals and the characteristics of their employee population.
Building a Total Rewards Program Aligned with Your Company Goals, Culture, and Workforce
Whether updating your current program or migrating to a Total Rewards model, how you decide to appreciate and recognize your employees should tie back to your organization’s mission and values – what the company aims to accomplish in the world at large and how it appreciates and recognizes the people who help get it there.
By reflecting on these big picture themes, companies can then distill those drivers into actionable items. By identifying meaningful formal and informal offerings, employers can craft tangible Total Rewards strategies that support those goals and evidence their corporate cultures.
Balancing Corporate Interests and Employee Expectations
The better an organization understands who it is (or wants to be) and the traits that make its workforce unique, the more effectively it can integrate that knowledge into a dynamic Total Rewards design. To be successful, Total Rewards components must always align with corporate objectives and budgets, but they must also match the specific makeup of a company’s workforce.
What motivates manufacturing facility employees may not be successful in an office setting. Similarly, younger workforces may be focused on career pathing, education and development opportunities, wealth accumulation, and childcare alternatives, while seasoned workforces may be looking for assistance with elder care, college preparation for their high school aged children, and retirement planning and transitioning.
Synergies with Other Human Resources Initiatives
Total Rewards factors into a number of Human Resources policies, with indirect benefits being the backbone of many initiatives. Recruitment, performance management, recognition programs, and diversity, equity and inclusion are only a few of the HR programs that a strong Total Rewards approach enhances.
Here are some examples where Total Rewards adds value:
In addition to a competitive salary and bonus, unique and broader thinking indirect benefits may help with talent recruitment by differentiating your company from the competition
Targeted, indirect benefits, such as company cars for field sales representatives, may improve engagement and productivity as part of innovative recognition programs
Performance management programs utilizing unique and specific incentives may increase employee productivity and engagement by focusing on what motivates particular groups or individual employees
Ensuring equitable distribution and access to benefits reinforces a company’s commitment to value all employees equally and create a welcoming, comfortable, and innovative work environment
Flexible work arrangements, such as remote options or work sharing, may result in higher retention and engagement rates
While wages are always the starting point for compensation discussions, today, applicants and employees require broad rewards packages that recognize their financial needs, personal interests, and address important societal issues. This expectation places a value on indirect compensation as never before seen, and it is through an inventive application of indirect compensation that a company’s culture and values can shine through – not only to employees but the greater marketplace.
If you need assistance reviewing your existing compensation strategy and designing an effective Total Rewards program, we encourage you to contact us at RealHR. We welcome the opportunity to discuss your needs and help you reach your desired goals.
Data Privacy regulations require that we protect the privacy of people whose data we collect.
So, what does that mean?https://play.hubspotvideo.com/v/21006133/id/71128574524?renderContext=embed-id-selector&parentOrigin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.roundtabletechnology.com&pageId=71123504451#hsvid=dcd6f96f-7a79-499c-9087-79c534b2920d
“While the specific data that needs to be protected does vary depending on the specific regulation, there are some general concepts and guidelines that can be helpful, especially if you are getting started.
First of all, data privacy regulations apply to the data or information that we collect about people.
People can be donors, volunteers, newsletter sign-ups, or our employees.
Personal information falls into a few general categories.
First, there is Personal Identifying Information or PII.
Some examples of PII include… name, address, email, phone, birthday – other, types of identifiers can also include geolocation, IP address
Next, we have sensitive information —in the US, that’s social security, passport, health records, credit card, financial records.
Sensitive information comes with added levels of risk — potential harm to the individual — if it is compromised.
GDPR, the EU privacy law includes religious beliefs, ethnicity, sexuality, political opinions, union membership, and other items in what it terms as “special categories”.
So, these are common examples of personal information.
This chart is a resource, which is available to you
It provides a starting point for understanding what’s “personal information”.
Definitions of personal information vary depending on the locality and the regulation. Check the text of the specific regulation for details.
Knowing what you have is the essential first step in identifying your organization’s privacy risks.”
Featuring Our Guest Speakers: Ed Probst, Jennifer Loftus, & Matthew Thompson
We have put together a panel of experts to help you navigate the issues you are facing regarding obtaining and keeping talent.
This panel discussion will cover:
– How you can become an Employer of choice
– How to ensure your pay rates are retaining employees and not driving them away
– Benchmarking benefits to become more competitive in your recruiting efforts
Why You Should Be Collaborating with Your Friends and Colleagues in the NRH Community
When you join a community like the Nonprofit Resource Hub, you do it with the intent to establish trusted and long-lasting relationships with the Associate Members and Nonprofit Partners, exchange ideas, give and gain support, and grow your business.
The business world is competitive but when you put effort into cultivating authentic relationships with those within the community, your business can actually thrive. Whether you’re in the for profit or nonprofit sectors, competition is unavoidable, but there also exists a wellspring of opportunities to collaborate with the other members and partners in the NRH community. When you make a concerted effort to collaborate, you open your business and/or nonprofit up to new ideas, new connections, problem solving techniques, and diversifying income streams.
What does it mean to collaborate with another small business?
Regardless of your industry or size, collaboration is a great tool that will help you build your business. Typically, collaboration is businesses working together to solve problems and achieve goals that seem to be out of reach when working alone.
When you combine the expertise, perspectives and skills of the people and organizations you collaborate with, all parties involved are better able to innovate, grow, and gain support. This stands true for the for profit and nonprofit businesses.
Benefits of business collaboration can fall under the following categories:
• Physical Capital – Share resources, equipment, facilities, or raw materials.
• Human Capital – Increase employment, develop employees’ skills and knowledge, encourage staff motivation, etc.
• Intellectual Capital – Tap into combined knowledge, capabilities, skills or expertise.
• Financial Benefits – Cut costs by sharing resources, bidding for larger contracts, etc.
But exactly how does it work?
Business Development: Collaboration helps small businesses compete with larger brands by combining knowledge, resources, consumer reach and technology. Both collaborating businesses will thrive as a result of their combined efforts to help one another. Through collaboration, you can achieve mutual growth, and will benefit from teamwork.
Expand Your Network: Collaborating with another business provides you the opportunity to develop a broader network than your business has on its own. When you collaborate with another business you present as a team, form alliances and reach new audiences.
Appeal To Grantmakers and Funders: When nonprofit organizations collaborate, they are joining forces to solve a problem. By bringing your skills, talent, and resources together, you are helping the process move at a faster rate and you are able to work more efficiently with your teams. This is an appeal to grantmakers and funders, as they are able to sooner see the results of the projects they fund and analyze the metrics of those investments. This can help ensure greater funding in the future for all of the nonprofits participating in the collaboration.
Inspire Innovation: Collaboration is the spark that ignites innovation because everyone brings a unique set of skills, knowledge, approaches, experiences and ideas to the table. Working together and honoring those differences opens the door to new ideas through instituting those unique perspectives. Collaboration inspired constant innovation. If you don’t innovate in today’s highly competitive marketplace, your business won’t be sustainable.
Share Knowledge: One of the biggest benefits of collaboration is the opportunity to learn and share knowledge. Every interaction you have with someone outside of your own immediate circle can teach you something valuable. Some of the most fruitful business collaborations include two or more professionals who bring different perspectives, skill sets and knowledge to the table.
When you collaborate you can capitalize on the resources, knowledge, ideas and skills of others. Having a broader understanding of other areas and business practices can feed into your own decision-making processes and day-to-day business activities.
Solve Problems: Try to recall a recent challenge you encountered in your business. Did you reach out to a mentor, a partner, or some other trusted resource to get some guidance? When you collaborate with another business, you have a pool of people working on problems who can offer ideas to best solve the problem. By adding a new perspective from those you collaborate with, you often get results in the outcome going beyond what you expected to achieve.
Collaboration is an integral part of building your relationships, your brand, and your business. Those on the receiving end of your collaboration are benefitting by having access to more resources, skills, and pool of talent. Through collaboration, you can achieve mutual growth, expand your networks, build your client list, and your brand. As a member of the NRH community, you are provided with the best talent, resources, and opportunities to work with others within the community to grow your business. Take advantage of those offerings and make the investment in building your relationships with the NRH community. The opportunities await.
Local organization supports individuals with Autism to learn, live and work in their community
April 11, 2022, Port Washington, NY – For over a decade, The Nicholas Center (TNC), a pre-eminent nonprofit organization specializing in Autism vocational training, community partnerships and peer connections, has revolutionized the way Autistic adults learn, live and work.
Based in Port Washington, the organization experienced a meteoric rise from its early days where the idea took shape in a small backyard barn in Plandome Manor, NY. Today, the organization supports over 120 Autistic individuals in two locations, both in-person and via remote. During the pandemic, TNC was successful in expanding services to a second location in Westchester, NY.
Stella L. Spanakos, Co-Founder and “mom-on-a-mission” started the organization, with Co-Founders, Nicole Sugrue and Patrick Bardsley to offer community engagement, vocational experiences and jobs, and peer engagement for her son, Nicholas, and others like him. Pleased to call Port Washington home, The Nicholas Center has woven itself into the fabric of community life – adding value by offering volunteer services to over twenty local non-profits and businesses, including Community Chest of Port Washington, Plant-a-Row-for-the-Hungry, North Shore Animal League of America, the Science Museum of Long Island.
This year, The Nicholas Center, along with partner, Spectrum Designs Foundation supported 14 individuals with Autism to earn certifications in Screen Printing, Food Handling and as Washroom Technicians. For 16-weeks, participants studied in-class and trained on-site at Spectrum Designs Foundation in Port Washington, gaining knowledge and on-the-job experience. A graduation ceremony was held to celebrate the graduates. “I am very proud of us for what we accomplished. It was a lot of work, but with this amazing program, we made it and are graduating” said graduate Brendan B. Funding for this program was provided by a New York State Department of Labor grant and administered by The Nicholas Center Vocational Support team.
The organization champions inclusion at work and in the community. For individuals who have been marginalized, “marching in a parade, is not just marching in a parade,” says Stella. Participating in activities that comprise community life is much more than a parade, a community project or a job – it means progress is being made for a population facing an 85% unemployment and under engagement rate once school ends at 21. The Nicholas Center is proud to be a leader in advocating for those voiceless in our society and are grateful to Port Washington and surrounding communities for their continuing support of our mission statement – to create innovative programs and services that allow Autistic individuals learn, live and work in the community.
Now more than ever, inclusion is pivotal to enriching community life. We learn from the differences of others and become better for it. For more information, please log on to: www.tncnewyork.org and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn
The Nicholas Center is a 501c3 non-profit organization, supporting individuals with Autism in leading full and productive lives in the community. A population facing 85% unemployment and under engagement after age 21, the program successfully supports and advocates for inclusion and opportunity. A recipient of the NY Senate Empire Business Award, “the most socially innovative agency of its kind in NY State,” and Nonprofit of the Year and Diversity in Business awards from Long Island Business News, The Nicholas Center is a proud member of the Port Washington and Pleasantville Chambers of Commerce and the Business Council of Westchester.
By: Susan KreegerI didn’t mean to upset or offend anyone!
These and similar retorts are frequent responses when someone is the focus of a discrimination or harassment complaint. Sometimes, the individual in question does not understand what they did wrong, and attempt to defend their actions by explaining that others misconstrued what took place.
Although the employee may be describing their state of mind accurately, that is not the measure of whether unlawful conduct occurred. Simply accepting this explanation does not address the complaining employee’s concerns nor fulfill the company’s obligations.
In this blog, we explore the following topics to help you understand these concepts and how they affect your workplace and HR initiatives:
Intent lies within the mind of the actor. It is solely from their point of view and may or may not be apparent to anyone but that person. Impact focuses on the feelings and reactions of those present when a person utters certain words or engages in particular conduct. How others receive a message is the impact – the effect of those actions.
Often intent and impact do not align.The individual speaking or acting may have the best intentions but that does not necessarily translate to those around them. In some instances, unconscious biases can lead good intentions to go awry.
If the message does not come across as planned or is misinterpreted, conflict can result. The reality is that someone may feel offended, degraded, or harassed. When an employee feels this way, they may believe they are the target of unlawful discrimination or harassment.
For example, a supervisor makes a point of explaining everything in detail to an employee for whom English is not their primary language. The supervisor just wants to help and make sure the employee is not at a disadvantage. However, the employee does not need the added explanation and views the supervisor’s actions as condescending and demeaning. They report the supervisor to HR.
How your organization responds when someone raises questionable behavior will inform employees about your level of commitment to maintaining a welcoming, positive workplace and set the stage for any legal action that may follow.
The Injured Party’s Perception Is What Matters
Many individuals accused of discrimination or harassment do not see themselves as malicious or trying to mistreat others, but their opinion of the situation does not determine when improper conduct occurred. Bad intent is not required if the end result is a hostile work environment or adverse employment action.
The law does apply a reasonable person standard when assessing if conduct rises to the level of legally actionable, but that does not mean that the recipient needs to accept unwelcome conduct just because others do. As long as the individual’s reaction to the comment or behavior is within reason, unlawful conduct may have taken place, warranting a company response.We were all just joking around!
Addressing Discrimination and Harassment in Your Workplace
Everyone perceives the world differently based on their unique backgrounds and experiences. To avoid miscommunication, we must sensitize ourselves to how others approach the world and understand that our actions have consequences – some positive, some negative.
Setting the Ground Rules
As an employer, you need to send the message that harassment, discrimination, and retaliation are not accepted in your workplace. Implementing thoughtful, well-designed policies and procedures is an important first step. Consistent application of your policies shows that the company will do the right thing and take corrective action if employees raise concerns.
Getting Employees Up to Speed
Communication, training, and modeling are critical to understanding and embracing anti-discrimination and harassment policies. Incorporating policies into your handbook, reviewing them when onboarding new hires, and periodically disseminating them company-wide are good practices. However, engaging, interactive training sessions may be the best way to reinforce this information. In fact, this type of training is required in certain states.
Whether or not mandated by the state or locality in which your organization has operations, a comprehensive engaging program is highly recommended. Effective training sessions focus not only on the legal implications of discriminatory conduct, but also the benefits of creating and maintaining a work environment that appreciates and values every employee’s contribution and unique talents. Modules that focus on unconscious bias are often incorporated when discussing these topics. No one looked upset!
Taking Action After an Incident
Even with all the right policies, programs, and training in place, situations will arise that need addressing. In addition to having a legal obligation to investigate these matters, it is the right thing for employers to do – for employee engagement, betterment of the organizational climate, and overall business success.
The procedures you have in place should provide employees, managers, and HR representatives with a clear roadmap for handling complaints. The key to reaching a fair and satisfactory resolution is a thorough and objective review process. Every employee involved must be treated with respect and have an opportunity to share their version of the events as well as any concerns they may have without fear of reprisals or retaliation.
Some employers have the resources within their organizations to conduct investigations, but many hire outside counsel or consulting firms. When you engage a third-party, you have the benefit of an objective, outsider’s view of the incident. Oh, c’mon. They are being overly sensitive!
How RealHR Solutions Can Help You Commit to a Welcoming Work Environment
If you are looking for ways to enhance your culture, improve employee communications, and avoid the problems that may arise when employee intent does not match the impact, RealHR has solutions. Our team of HR professionals has decades of combined HR expertise and experience developing policies, training programs, and conducting workplace investigations. Our goal is to help our clients create a positive, welcoming and productive workplace, but if complaints arise, we can help to address them promptly and fairly.
We do not market off-the-shelf solutions. Instead, we assess each company’s particular needs and design HR strategies and initiatives to address those exact concerns. When meeting with our HR professionals, we review your current situation and help you determine what makes sense for your business.
How loyal are your employees to your organization? As you consider this question, a few employees might stand out in your mind for their dedication to your nonprofit’s cause or their above-and-beyond contributions to a recent project for your business. But in reality, employee loyalty is a difficult thing to measure and quantify.
That isn’t to say there haven’t been attempts to measure employee loyalty. In 2018, management and consulting firm West Monroe found that 82 percent of employees have a high sense of loyalty to their employers. However, they also found the following:
45% of employees have applied to new jobs after a bad day at work
59% of employees would leave if they got a better offer from another organization
What does this all mean? Employee loyalty is volatile. Similar to a tropical plant that requires exact amounts of water, careful fertilization, specific stretches of time in the sunlight, and consistent pruning, employee loyalty is something you have to carefully nurture.
One current, large-scale threat to employee loyalty is a new trend called “The Great Resignation.” This refers to the massive amount of turnover the U.S. is currently seeing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4.4 million employees quit their jobs in September 2021 alone. And The Great Resignation isn’t likely to end soon. Astron Solutions national director Jennifer Loftus recently discussed this topic with other HR experts in a Cerini and Associates webinar, predicting that The Great Resignation will likely continue for the nexttwo years.
A variety of things could be causing so many people to leave their jobs, including burnout from the pandemic and a realigning of personal priorities. But instead of deciphering the causes of The Great Resignation, your organization should focus on mitigating its effects by increasing long-term loyalty among your employees.
In this article, we’ll give you the information you need to understand what employee loyalty is and how to create it in your workplace. We’ll cover the following:
Are you ready to start taking action to improve your employees’ loyalty to your organization and its work? Let’s jump right in!
Employee Loyalty: FAQs
A number of questions can arise when discussing employee loyalty. Let’s tackle a few of these to help you cultivate loyalty among your workers.What is employee loyalty?
Employee loyalty is the idea that employees at your organization are genuinely invested in your organization and its work because they believe in it and want to see it move forward. Loyal employees view your organization as the best place for them to work.Why is employee loyalty important?
Employee loyalty is important because it affects overall employee satisfaction and retention. If an employee is loyal to your organization and is satisfied with their job and compensation, they will be much more likely to continue working at your organization in the long run.What does a loyal employee look like?
There is no comprehensive checklist for determining whether an individual employee is loyal to your organization or not. But loyal employees do have some key qualities, many of which are easy to identify. They come to work on time, complete their work, and participate in company culture. But there are also some characteristics that make a loyal employee stand out from the crowd.
A loyal employee is truly invested in your organization’s work. You may have heard these employees described as “engaged.” They see the bigger picture of your work or mission, instead of just focusing on the day-to-day. This is often reflected in their efforts to improve themselves in their current roles or take advantage of career development opportunities. A loyal employee helps brainstorm ideas that will benefit your organization as a whole and gives honest feedback about their experience because they want to make your organization a better place to work. They also accept final decisions that come from the top and run with them.
Loyal employees also have boundaries. They don’t sacrifice their health, personal endeavors, or time with loved ones for your organization. They take their vacation time, use their sick days, and are better workers because of it.
How do you improve employee loyalty?
You can’t improve loyalty at your organization overnight. Much like a relationship with a donor or client, loyalty has to be cultivated over time, and that effort can take many different forms. In the sections below, we’ll give you actionable strategies for improving employee loyalty.
What employee loyalty means and looks like will vary from organization to organization. Loyalty is a complex idea to define and measure, but there are some effective ways to make positive changes in your organization so you can foster loyalty among your workers. It all starts with what we call “the secret sauce.”
Employee Loyalty: The Secret Sauce
The reality of employee loyalty is that most organizations try to get their employees to truly care about the organization and their work and end up missing the mark. Why?
Because they aren’t applying the “secret sauce.”
This secret sauce comes from an idea David Turt and Todd Nordstrom shared in a 2019 Forbes article called “The Truth About Employee Loyalty, And 5 Things Every Leader Should Know”:
You, as the leader, can only control your loyalty to them. We’ve personally seen so many managers get wrapped up in trying to ‘fix’ employee behavior. That seems like the job of a boss. But, it’s not. As a leader your job is to focus on what you can do to bring the best out of people. If it’s not working, keep focusing on what you could do differently.
-David Turt and Todd Nordstrom
This is the secret sauce: realizing that you can’t control your employees’ feelings about their jobs or your organization. The only thing within your control is your ability to create a work environment in which employees thrive in their roles, causing them to feel loyal to your organization and you as a leader.
Organization leaders who realize they can’t force loyalty look at their employees and their organization differently. They see their employees as assets who need to be treated fairly and compensated in a way that communicates appreciation. These employers do everything in their power to ensure employees enjoy their jobs and have opportunities to learn and grow professionally. Then in return, employers like these get the dedication and investment they want to see from loyal employees.
Now that you know about the secret sauce of employee loyalty, you may be wondering what changes you need to make to your approach to apply the secret sauce and create an environment where employee loyalty can grow.
Employee Loyalty: 15 Tips for Positive Change
What do your employees need from you right now that can help them develop loyalty toward your organization? Check out these 15 tips for creating a workplace that employees will want to stay and thrive in.
Note that some of these tips may need to be modified depending on what your workplace currently looks like during the COVID-19 pandemic. Be sure to follow state and local guidelines and to modify these tips as needed.
1. Work with an HR consultant.
Does your organization have the human resources policies and processes in place to encourage employee engagement and long-term retention? In order for your employees to buy into your organization and its work, you may need to work with an HR consulting firm that can provide an objective third-party evaluation of your current strategies and help you to improve them.
To select an HR consultant for your organization, follow these steps:
Define your needs. Identify what you need from an HR consultant. This might include streamlining your performance management process, changing your approach to compensation, or improving how you find and hire job candidates. Your needs will help guide your search for a consultant.
Discuss with key stakeholders. Before you commit to any engagement with a consultant, make sure your team is on board with the idea of hiring outside help. This will be especially important if you’re working with a strict budget.
Outline your guidelines. Set your expectations for working with an HR consultant. Consider the budget you have, the expected start date, and the timeframe for the engagement.
Begin your research. Search the internet for candidates or reach out to professional connections for recommendations. Remember to consider whether or not you’re willing to work with someone remotely and to filter your options accordingly.
Draft an RFP. An RFP, or request for proposal, will detail your organization’s needs and expectations. When you submit an RFP to a consultant, they can use that context to draft a strategy for your organization, which will help you decide whether or not you want to work with them.
Compare the candidates. Once you’ve submitted your RFP to your chosen candidates and received their proposals, review the proposals and candidates with your leadership team.
Make your pick. After researching your top candidate and reviewing their references, reach out to them and start working together.
HR consultants can help you see the blind spots in your strategy for cultivating employee loyalty at your organization and help you determine what you need to change as an employer. Be open to your consultant’s ideas, but don’t be afraid to push back on or workshop the strategies they bring to the table, too.
2. Equip your employees with the best tools for their work.
Do your employees have the best tools available for their roles? For example, an employee might suggest that Slack or Trello could enhance workplace communication and project management. How do you respond? If you’re willing to try it out, this shows your employees that you care about their ideas to improve how they work.
Providing your employees with the best tools can require investing in technology or other resources you may be unfamiliar with. But letting your employees have more of a say in how they complete their work helps communicate your loyalty to them and receive their loyalty in return.
Plus, never underestimate the effect purchasing up-to-date tools and equipment (like new computer monitors or desk chairs) can have on morale!
3. Discuss retention openly.
Your efforts to retain your employees don’t have to be a secret. In fact, communicating to your employees that you want them to continue working for you can actually help your retention efforts. This will not only make them feel valued, but will also help both you and your employees speak up about what you need to change or keep doing to continue working together.
One of the best spaces for discussing retention is one-on-one meetings between managers and their direct reports. Because managers are in the best position to get to know their direct reports and be involved in their work, they are also in a great position to discuss potential retention risks. Here are some questions that can help guide managers when talking about retention:
What do you like about your job?
What do you dislike about your job?
Do you feel like your work is meaningful?
Do you feel you’re able to develop new skills and take advantage of professional development opportunities in your role?
Questions like these can help you proactively extinguish potential employee turnovers before they even have a chance to spark. You can also use retention surveys to gauge new employees’ first impressions of your organization, reasons that star employees stick around, and why employees leave, all of which can inform your strategy for cultivating employee loyalty.
4. Take a total rewards approach to compensation.
According to our guide to total rewards compensation, “a total rewards approach to compensation is the most viable method of keeping your employees satisfied, increasing retention rates, and growing your organization sustainably.”
This approach encourages employers to view compensation more holistically, offering not only direct compensation and benefits, but also things like:
Scheduling flexibility and PTO usage
Career development opportunities such as continuing education courses, professional association memberships, and relicensing or recertification opportunities
A total rewards approach to compensation can help you create the kind of internal culture where employees thrive and want to stay. This will encourage them to strive for constant improvement in their roles, boosting retention and loyalty all around.
5. Be transparent about everything.
Transparency is key to building trust and loyalty with your employees. Transparency ensures that both your and your employees’ expectations are clear and can be met. Whether you’re open about compensation or an upcoming merger, employees will appreciate it when you make an effort to keep them updated and involve them in big-picture organizational moves.
It’s also important to be transparent about the negatives. If your nonprofit loses a major source of funding or a client’s relationship with your company sours, employees will want to know. Instead of scaring them away, you’ll show them that your organization has high ethical standards and wants to collaborate with everyone to improve and move forward.
6. Set up an employee recognition program.
According to an Apollo Technical article on employee recognition, an employee who receives recognition for their work is 63% more likely to stay at their current job for the next three to six months. What does this mean for you? Frequent and thoughtful recognition is key for ensuring your employees are happy and productive in their roles, which can increase their feelings of loyalty toward your organization.
Here are a number of ways to recognize your employees:
Set up an incentive plan, encouraging individuals or teams to meet certain goals to earn a reward, like a gift card or an extra day of PTO.
Write thank-you notes for employees that go above and beyond.
Give star employees shoutouts in staff meetings or newsletters.
Select an employee of the month and give that employee extra perks for the month, like a reserved parking spot.
Throw parties or host special lunches or dinners for teams who go above and beyond.
Remember, employee recognition doesn’t have to break the bank. According to our article on low-cost employee recognition, “the point of employee recognition is to make the employee feel valued by the organization.” No matter your budget, you can find a way to incorporate recognition into your strategy for cultivating employee loyalty.
7. Provide management training.
Management training can help your employees—from those in entry-level positions all the way to those in top-level management roles—learn more about how your organization works and what it means to be a good boss. These opportunities can help employees who aspire to be in a management role and provide insight for others interested in learning more about why their boss makes the decisions they do.
Offer management training sessions to your employees in which you discuss how you run your organization and how managers fit into the organization’s hierarchy. Create spaces for open discussions about good management techniques, like active listening and providing feedback, so that both managers and their direct reports can get more out of their relationships with management.
Remember, teaching your employees what it means to be a great manager won’t mean much if you don’t live by what you talk about in training. Actively apply the advice you give in training to show your employees how to put it into action themselves.
8. Promote employee health.
Employees will feel more connected to your organization when your organization promotes healthy ways of living. Why? Because employees want to know that you see them as people, not just parts of an always-working machine. There are a variety of ways you can promote healthy living, including:
Offer a mental health stipend.
Hold daily or weekly workplace yoga, meditation, or stretching sessions.
Keep your breakroom stocked with fresh fruits, vegetables, and caffeine-free beverages.
Encourage teams to take walking meetings.
Enter teams of interested employees in fun runs or walk-a-thons.
Install standing or cycling desks.
Invite a sleep expert to present to your employees about getting the rest they need.
Host challenges to see which department can walk the most steps or drink the recommended amount of water every day for a certain period of time.
Show your employees that you care about them and their well-being by incorporating more health initiatives into their day-to-day tasks. They’ll be more satisfied and happy with their jobs, as they’ll feel like your organization is a place where they can both develop professionally and maintain or improve their mental, physical, and emotional health.
9. Facilitate social events.
Employees need friends at work to enjoy their jobs and want to stay with your organization. To create an environment where friendships can grow, host social events. These events can be big or small. For example, you might organize an after-work happy hour, take the office out for lunch, host a holiday party, or even set up an employee trip to an amusement park.
Ask your employees for suggestions and be sure to listen. They’ll let you know what social opportunities are the best fit for them, and they’ll love the chance to meet people from other departments and develop memories outside of their day-to-day work with each other.
10. Provide career development opportunities.
Another great way to increase your employees’ loyalty to your organization is to offer them career development opportunities. Career development opportunities are likely already part of your organization’s talent management process. But also thinking about them as something that employees want and need to feel more invested in their work can help your efforts to increase loyalty.
Here are some popular opportunities you can offer your employees:
Stretch Assignments: These are out-of-the-ordinary assignments that require employees to learn and develop a new skill.
Cross-Functional Teamwork: This gives employees the opportunity to work with a team or department they usually don’t get to interact with in the scope of their daily duties.
Continuing Ed Courses: Continuing education courses, especially those that offer continuing education credits, can give your employees the chance to learn from experts in their field.
Recertification/Relicensing Opportunities: If your industry requires employees to recertify or relicense, your organization can provide study materials and pay for the relicensing exams to encourage employees to keep their skills sharp.
Conferences and Webinars: Provide your employees with opportunities to network and mingle with people in their field, allowing them to develop professional relationships and keep up with new industry knowledge.
Association Memberships: Associations create a community of professionals within the same field and provide opportunities like networking, conferences, workshops, and social events to help your employees grow their professional networks.
Management Training: In-house management training can help your employees develop a stronger understanding of how your organization works, how they can get the most out of their relationships with their managers, and how they can work toward a management position.
No matter where your employees are in their professional lives, it’s always a good idea to promote continuous learning and improvement. Providing career development opportunities like these can help you develop a great reputation with your employees as you encourage them to learn and grow within your organization.
11. Focus on diversity and inclusion.
According to Glassdoor, 76% of employees and job seekers report that diversity is an important factor when they evaluate companies and jobs. Work with your organization’s top leaders to evaluate your Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts. You might need to take action to adopt fairer hiring practices or to revise your compensation approach.
Remember, it’s not enough to just talk about DEI. Your employees want to see you making real, positive changes in the workplace.
12. Empower employees to give back.
Employees love to see opportunities from their employers to give back to the community. Opportunities to donate or volunteer enrich employees’ lives, and they also boost your reputation in your local area. Here are some opportunities you might consider offering:
Donation Matching: One of the most popular ways for employees to give back is to donate to causes they care about. Try offering gift matching to help employees increase their donations’ impact. To learn more about the good that gift matching can do, check out 360MatchPro’s article on corporate giving and philanthropy.
Volunteer Grants:Volunteer grants are donations organizations make to nonprofits where their employees regularly volunteer. These grants encourage employees to volunteer more and can be a great boon to nonprofits.
Corporate Volunteer Days: When you organize a corporate volunteer day, you’re arranging for all of your employees to participate in a nonprofit’s cause for the day. Whether you’re building a new playground or tutoring school kids, your employees will find fulfillment in lending a helping hand on these designated days.
If giving back is something that your organization values, providing opportunities for employees to do the same communicates to them that your organization is consistent and has a genuine desire to do good. As you look for ways to help your employees make a difference in your community, you’ll likely notice an increase in dedication to your organization.
13. Show appreciation for the little things.
When it comes to recognizing your employees or communicating how appreciated they are, remember to thank them for the little things. An employee might clean the coffee pot, water the office plants, or take notes in a meeting without being asked. Be sure to tell them “thank you.” Those two words can go a long way in making your employee feel like they belong at your organization.
14. Change up the routine.
Sometimes the best thing you can do for your employees is to shake things up. A change in routine can be a lot of fun, relieve stress, and reset your team to be more productive. Try out one of these ideas:
Hosting a work retreat
Surprising your employees with catered breakfast or lunch
Bringing in therapy dogs for employees to interact with for an afternoon
Hosting meetings in different locations, like outside of your office building
Switching out office chairs for exercise balls for a day
Monotony can turn into a retention risk. By demonstrating that your organization works hard to make each day fresh and new, you can make a positive impression on your employees.
15. Listen to your employees’ feedback.
To feel invested in their work and loyal to your organization, employees need to know that when they give their managers feedback, suggestions, or ideas, they are being heard. Surveys are a great tool for getting feedback from your employees. When employees can remain anonymous, there’s less pressure to keep their ideas to themselves and more encouragement to share what’s on their minds.
To learn more about surveys and to choose survey questions that will help you get actionable feedback, we suggest working with an HR consultant. A consultant can help you design a survey, administer it, understand the survey responses, and implement positive changes to make your organization a better place to work.
Employee loyalty is complex, and your employees’ feelings about your organization can change on a regular basis. However, when you apply the “secret sauce” and work to demonstrate your loyalty to your employees by applying the tips we’ve discussed in this article, you’ll start to see more dedication to and investment in your organization’s work.
To get expert help with your efforts to cultivate employee loyalty, reach out to an HR consulting firm like Astron Solutions. Astron Solutions can provide you with the services and solutions you need to improve your employer brand and keep your organization moving forward.
Interested in learning more? Check out these additional resources:
Employee retention has never been as great a concern for employers as it is today.
Although retaining your talent has always been an important investment of time and resources, the unprecedented external conditions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic have only amplified the challenges of retaining talent and highlighted the need to look at retention with a critical eye. If you want to improve your organization’s employee retention efforts, knowing how and where to get started is key.
How can you best position your organization to engage and retain employees in 2022 and beyond?
This guide will cover the essentials and our recommended steps for building a well-developed retention strategy.
Defining the Essentials: What is employee retention?
Employee retention refers to an organization’s ability to retain its employees over time and minimize employee turnover, whether voluntary or involuntary.
Your employee retention rate, which compares the number of retained employees at the start of a specific time period to how many of those original employees are still there at the end of the period, can be calculated with this formula:
(# of individual employees who remained employed for entire measurement period
# of employees at start of measurement period)
Calculating the turnover rate will complement the retention rate by showing the percentage of separations in the same period. Turnover rate is often defined as the number of separations divided by the average number of employees during that same time period, and it can be calculated as follows:
(# of separations during the measurement period
average # of employees during the measurement period)
Best practice would be to track on an annual basis your organization’s retention rate and turnover rate, and the reasons behind them, so that you can accurately measure progress as part of your retention plan.
Employee Retention Strategies: 5 Key Areas to Prioritize
What elements of an organization’s operations contribute to retention? What specific strategies can you use to deepen relationships with employees and reduce turnover? We break them down into five key categories:
1. Recruitment and Onboarding
Hiring and onboarding practices are your first opportunities to set the tone for your relationships with new employees, so they play an immediate role in driving retention.
Review and improve your employee recruitment, hiring, and onboarding practices to provide enriching experiences. New hires should feel that your organization is thoughtful, welcoming, and caring.
Eliminate bias from your recruiting process.
Live your values through the recruiting, hiring, and onboarding process to allow candidates to experience your organization and its culture.
Ensure that training is available and that the content is relevant and helps new hires get up to speed as quickly as is possible.
2. Employee Compensation
There is much discussion around the role of compensation in shaping the employer-employee relationship and impacting retention. While intangibles like your culture, management philosophy, and an immediate supervisor’s management style have an increasingly large impact on retention, compensation and benefits still also play important roles.
Offer salaries and wages at rates as competitive as possible for your organization.
Take a total rewards approach to compensation. This entails breaking compensation down into its direct components (salaries and bonuses) and indirect components (benefits, culture, work-life flexibility, management styles, etc.) so that you can take a more holistic view of your strategy as a whole.
Ensure pay equity across your organization. Work with compensation experts as needed to conduct pay equity audits, benchmark your strategies, and develop other compensation improvements. Show employees the steps you are taking to review, adjust, and manage your compensation strategies over time.
Help employees understand the steps you are taking over time to review, adjust, and manage your compensation strategies. Consider whether compensation will be tied to performance. This can be determined based on a number of factors.
Offer benefits packages that meet the needs of your employees, offer flexibility, and provide the greatest value, while at the same time watching employer and employee costs. Consider flexible spending accounts to meet the needs of the greatest number of employees.
Set reasonable expectations around workload and hours. Consider offering benefits related to mental health and/or PTO for personal days.
Genuinely recognize and express appreciation for employee accomplishments. Consider creating systems for leadership and peers to submit “bravos,” offering spot bonuses or prizes for major contributions, and building in recognition as an ongoing part of employee-manager conversations.
Offer learning and development opportunities, and regularly discuss career growth with employees. Only 29% of organizations have concrete development plans in place, but 68% of workers are willing to retrain and learn new skills.
Set individualized goals and plans of action during your performance management process, and support employees with the tools they need to achieve them.
4. Company Culture
Your organization’s culture and the workplace environment you foster can play major roles in employee engagement, well-being, and ultimately retention.
Actively foster a flexible, diverse, and inclusive culture. Encourage employees to get to know one another and understand each other’s roles and responsibilities.
Create open lines of communication across the organization. Provide transparency into the reasoning behind leadership decisions that impact employees.
Develop and communicate your diversity management efforts to reflect your commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and to creating a culture of respect, equity, and belonging.
Offer flexible work arrangements to whatever degree you are able. The ability to work remotely full-time or on a hybrid schedule has become a significant driver for many employees seeking new jobs.
5. Organization and Management
How your organization structures its teams and manages employees can also directly impact its ability to retain talent. These elements should be periodically reviewed to ensure they are still delivering maximum value for the organization and employees.
Keep job descriptions up to date to accurately reflect your organization’s positions
Consider broadening your concept of employees’ roles by creating a matrix model that taps into employees’ skills rather than the jobs themselves. This has many advantages—it offers greater flexibility and learning opportunities to the employees and also provides many benefits to the employer.
Empower managers by offering the training needed to support your organization’s retention plan.
Emphasize goal-setting across all levels of your organization. Communicate organizational, team, and individual goals, track your progress, and celebrate wins.
Consider conducting an HR Assessment to review and evaluate the ways in which your HR practices may (or may not) be supporting your retention goals.
How to Improve Employee Retention: 7 Steps
To begin strategically improving your employee retention rate, we recommend following these core steps:
Calculate your current employee retention rate.
This will give you a starting point on which to build your plan. Refer back to the top of this article to review the retention formula.
Analyze and benchmark your retention data.
Review the current state of your retention efforts. For example, who specifically is leaving? Do most employees who resign do so within a particular amount of time/common tenure? When you conduct exit interviews, an important tool for understanding and managing retention, what if any trends emerge in their reasons for leaving?
Consider working with an HR consultant to benchmark your own retention data against that of other organizations in your industry.
Conduct an employee retention survey.
Work with your team and/or an HR consultant to create and administer an employee survey asking questions related to retention. Do employees feel engaged at work? Do they understand why certain decisions are made? Do they feel fairly compensated?
Next, review survey results. Do employee survey responses reveal particular areas that seem to be driving turnover? For instance, you may identify compensation, inclusion, and career development as key pain points for your employees. These areas of focus will anchor your strategy going forward.
Audit your current practices in relevant areas.
Conduct in-depth audits of your practices in the areas of focus that you identified. Consultants and other specialized partners can conduct thorough, impartial audits of your HR practices, compensation strategies, diversity initiatives, and more.
Use your employee survey data to help inform areas of focus for your audit.
The results of an effective audit will point you towards specific gaps and shortcomings that can be addressed to drive stronger retention results.
Set employee retention goals.
Based on exit interviews, the employee survey, and the results of your audit, set your employee retention goals and create a plan for accomplishing your goals. Plan for incremental changes to your retention rate and build in various deadlines to evaluate success. This will include creating improvement plans.
Develop improvement roadmaps and assign ownership.
Lay out plans for addressing the identified issues. Outline specific changes, how they will be developed and implemented, who will own which elements of the plan, timeframes, and any other necessary details.
Make sure that involved team members understand why and how their help will support the broader retention plan and goal.
Actively track and review progress.
Regularly check in with your teams as they progress through the improvement roadmaps. Have a plan in place for measuring the impact of all individual improvements and the broader retention initiative as a whole. As the pieces of your plan come together, remember to recognize and celebrate your teams’ achievements!
Why does employee retention matter?
There are a number of reasons why employee retention should be a priority for your organization. An effective retention strategy will result in:
Reduced turnover and associated costs.
Turnover drains your organization of talent, institutional knowledge, and money. Gartner estimates that a single departing employee costs an average organization $18,591, with recruiting and onboarding being costly expenditures of your organization’s time and resources.
Increased engagement and employee growth over time.
When employees stay engaged with your organization, they are more likely to grow into new roles, contribute to your culture, and drive greater results for your business.
An improved employer brand, which can help with recruitment.
Being known as an organization whose employees enjoy their work and stick around for the long-term is a major asset and can create a helpful flywheel effect in which your employee-focused brand helps attract and retain top talent over time.
Overall improvements to your bottomline.
Taken together, the benefits listed above result in better overall financial health and resilience for your organization. Money saved by reducing turnover can be more effectively allocated to push the business forward and drive even higher retention.
Employee Retention and the Great Resignation
It is difficult to ignore the massive impacts of what has been termed the “Great Resignation” on employee retention. This unprecedented surge in voluntary turnover is reshaping the U.S. labor landscape. A record 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs in August of 2021, followed by 4.4 million in September.
The pandemic’s immediate effects have in part catalyzed this turnover increase. However, it is crucial to note that the Great Resignation seems to be driven by a complex mix of economic, social, political, and demographic forces, not all of which are directly attributable to the pandemic:
Rising wages and employee expectations.Salaries and wages have been rising. Coupled with the current impact of inflation on take-home pay and the general atmosphere of the labor environment, many workers are looking for more flexible and higher-paying jobs.
Pandemic burnout. The pandemic has been a difficult time for employees, especially frontline workers and those whose work could not easily be taken online. Many employees are reevaluating their personal and professional priorities and are exploring new career options.
A perceived labor shortage driving competition for talent. With 10.4 million job openings recorded at the start of October 2021, recruitment is currently a challenge. This is for a complex range of reasons, but a perceived labor shortage is driving employers to compete more aggressively for talent.
Socioeconomic and educational factors. The Great Resignation has revealed what some consider to be another emerging labor crisis in the United States: gaps in workers’ technological skills that are necessary for many jobs in a digital economy. High and rising costs of higher education will likely exacerbate this issue over time.
Additionally, the Employee Retention Tax Credit that was instituted to help struggling businesses retain employees in 2020, has ended earlier than expected with the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Organizations taking advantage of this credit may now face additional challenges making up for the lost support.
Clearly, the Great Resignation is complex. The factors listed above mean that retaining employees is more important than ever before for the immediate and long-term health of organizations today.
Want to take a deeper dive? How can organizations respond to the Great Resignation? What actions can HR leaders take to more effectively manage change in a turbulent environment? Jill Krumholz, Co-Owner and Managing Director here at RealHR Solutions, discusses the topic with our friends Jennifer Loftus of Astron Solutions and Ken Cerini of Cerini & Associates in this free webinar:
Employee retention is driven by a complex range of factors but has never been as important for organizations, in all sectors and of all sizes, as it is today. Understanding these factors, the current labor landscape, and how it all comes into play in the unique context of your own organization are important and also can be very challenging.
HR experts can be invaluable partners as you work to improve your employee retention rate. RealHR Solutions is a leading provider of HR consultation and outsourced services. Our experience spans a wide set of HR practices that impact retention, including recruitment, employee coaching, compensation and benefits planning, and more. We can help your organization develop a comprehensive retention plan of action or dig deeper into the specific areas that need improvement through benchmarking and HR assessments.
Get in touch today to discuss your organization’s retention goals and needs. We will be happy to help!
And to learn more about driving results for your business through strategic internal improvements, keep exploring with these resources:
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