Identifying leitmotifs for strategic retention management

Employee retention is regarded as a central factor for corporate success, whereby retention does not just mean not wanting to leave the company - for whatever reason - but an identification with the goals and values and the resulting willingness to go far beyond the required target. Strong retention means initiative, loyalty, willingness to perform and productivity, less absenteeism, and high quality work results. Employees with a strong bond contribute not only their skills, but also their heart and soul, and provide a crisis-proof foundation even in stormy times.

Retention management encompasses all strategic measures aimed at retaining employees in the company or binding them to the company.

Every new employee initially represents an investment: It takes an average of 3 - 6 months to find a place in the team and complete the induction phase. On the other hand, every lost employee takes know-how with him and causes a high expenditure of time and money to fill the position again. A well thought-out and consistently implemented retention management system helps to minimize these costs and to make optimal use of the available human resources.

The opportunities are many - from attractive career options to various financial incentives, team events and individual working time models to Google's theme park atmosphere. So anyone looking for inspiration: The media are full of tips and best practice examples. The only question is: What are the right measures for MY company?

"I know half of my advertising is money thrown out. I just don't know which half." Henry Ford

In the broadest sense, employers are constantly "courting" their key performers. What Henry Ford said about advertising budgets can therefore also be applied to measures for employee retention - but only if you don't know exactly what makes your own employees "tick. The understanding of appreciation and appropriate countervalue can be very different. What is the number one motivating factor for one person can have exactly the opposite effect for another.

EMOTIONAL ORIENTED cannot be impressed with material things, they draw their strength from personal relationships. CALCULATIVE ORIENTED people need measurable facts. GROWTH ORIENTED people look to the future and need perspectives.

This also explains why some measures come to nothing and why the watering-can principle does not work in retention management. For emotionally oriented people, a sincere thank you - the recognition and appreciation of a high level of commitment - is worth more than, say, a long-term parking ticket for the old town. Conversely, the calculatively oriented need something tangible (such as a season parking ticket for the Old Town) and may perceive a mere thank you as cynical and condescending. A growth-oriented person, on the other hand, needs perspectives that are worth fighting for. If there is no advancement within the company, neither material nor immaterial measures can retain this employee. So if you want to build strong employee loyalty, you should first find out what drives employees.

If you fill up a gasoline engine with diesel, don't be surprised if it doesn't run.

The basis for effective retention management is knowing what "fuel" is needed. PERSENTIS sheds light on the orientation of employees, identifies their guiding principles and thus supports a targeted, structured approach.